Outlaws boys fall in first round of State soccer playoffs
Last updated 11/10/2021 at Noon
Sisters faced No. 6 seed North Marion in the first round of the 4A State playoffs on Wednesday, November 3. Due to excessive rain the game was held on the turf at Canby High School. The Outlaws worked extremely hard all season to achieve the goal of making it to post-season play, and the seniors led the way and provided the leadership needed to make it happen. Although they lost the contest 3-2, they put up a great fight and proved they could match up against anyone in the league.
In the first 15 minutes of the contest, North Marion controlled much of the possession and threatened to score.
Coach Jeff Husmann told The Nugget that the Outlaws’ energy was good, but they struggled to keep the ball and were forced to play defense. Sisters weathered the storm and in the 17th minute earned a free kick after being fouled in their defensive third.
Senior center-back Sean Alvarez’s strong leg got the Outlaws on the scoreboard. Alvarez was approximately 55 yards from North Marion’s goal and ripped a blazing ball that grazed off one of the Huskies’ legs and into the net for the score.
Husmann said, “Sean is a dangerous weapon in such situations. The goal provided a much-needed spark for us, and certainly changed the balance of the game.
Over the next 20 minutes the game went back and forth. Sisters was able to move the ball on the flanks with good combination play from Tate Kaczmarek, Ricky Huffman, and brothers Vincent and Gavin Christian.
Sisters suffered a hard blow when Gavin Christian took a hard shot to the face. He went down hard and was unable to play the remainder of the game.
The Outlaws held on to the 1-0 lead until just two minutes before the half, when the Huskies’ central midfielder hit a scorching shot from 25 yards out to even the score.
A minute later the Outlaws responded. Aidan Eckert played a beautiful through ball to Ricky Huffman, who held off the defensive pressure, and pounded the ball into the back of the net to put the Outlaws on top 2-1 as teams entered the half.
Both teams came out aggressive in the second half. Just a few minutes in, the Huskies scored the equalizing goal.
Sisters’ defense was busy most of the night, and worked well together. Outside defenders Noah Pittman and Baylor Dyer were on top of the Huskies’ counter-attack style of play and helped keep the Outlaws in the game.
In the 62nd minute, a questionable foul was called on the Outlaws inside the box, which earned North Marion a penalty kick. Their striker drilled it and the Huskies took a 3-2 lead with 18 minutes left on the clock.
The Outlaws stepped up, created offensive opportunities, and swarmed on defense. Time wound down and they knew they needed to take some chances. With 10 minutes left, Sean Alvarez moved from defense to striker. Alvarez is often the Outlaws’ fastest player on the field, and they were hoping his speed would surprise the Huskies. Unfortunately, the Outlaws couldn’t get the goal they needed to tie the game and had to record the loss.
Husmann made special note of senior AJ Scholl.
“I am very proud of AJ,” said Husmann. “At the beginning of the year, he held a starting position on defense. However, Baylor’s (Dyer) speed helped him earn that spot. That is a tough place to be in as a senior. AJ’s role on the team changed to a sub who would play his minutes as a striker. He took it upon himself to always cheer for his teammates, and share his analysis of the game with his coaches. This is a testament to AJ’s character and models the ‘We Before Me’ mantra we have cultivated on this team. This is precisely why he has worn the captain armband all season.”
Husmann added, “This group of young men showed grit all season. Though the boys were disappointed with the loss, we clearly showed we can compete with any school in our division. I am so proud of this team and proud to be their coach. It truly has been an outstanding season for the Outlaws, and I want to thank all the players and their families for being part of a great season.”