Two whistles blew at 7 pm.
In Seguin, Texas, the Saints had tears in their eyes. That final whistle had marked the women’s soccer team’s elimination from the playoffs, bringing their successful season (23-1-1) to a screeching halt.
Some 160 miles away, the Saints had determination in their hearts. The whistle in Houston had signaled the end of the first half, with the men’s team being down 3-0.
“After the first goal, we broke down. Because of that, we let in two simple goals. In the second half, though, we came out with a much more aggressive mentality, and we played as the better team,” captain Jonathan Riley ‘18 said.
This change in mentality manifested itself on the field. In the second half, Joel Hrncir ‘20 netted one for the Saints (in spite of his concussion), and Greyson Brewer ‘20 kept the team’s opponents from scoring.
Still, however, the men’s soccer team fell short when the final whistle blew. The devastating defeat kept the men from competing in the TAPPS championship game, stopping them from earning the same title that they had won in 2016.
Team member Sofia Sneider ‘20 said, “It was really difficult to process the loss initially simply because we had not yet experienced one, and – as the goalie – I blamed myself. But, in my heart, I know that we win as a team and lose as a team. We’re actually even more than that; we’re a family.”
“Just in the way that we play together, anybody can notice that not only do we love the sport, but we love each other,” Kat Lazor ‘20, another key player, adds, grinning.
For the men’s team, the sentiment is the same; each athlete played hard for one another, doing so fiercely until the last whistle.
Perhaps newcomer Mia Burkhalter ‘18 summarizes the playoff losses best: “Sure, we didn’t get big rings, but I did get 17 sisters.”