The Blue Devil men’s varsity soccer team played the Elk Grove Thundering Herd yesterday at Elk Grove High School. The J.V. team had played the Herd on Oct. 7 and, like their younger counterparts, the varsity Devils beat the Herd in a 5-0 shutout. But despite the Devils’ large margin of victory, the game was no a piece of cake.
The first goal of the game was described by spectators as a “fluke shot.” DHS forward, junior Ryan Gross was throwing in the ball when it ricocheted off the goalie of the other team and sailed in to the goal. The game really picked up in the second half when seniors Cyrus Ghaffari and Quinn Kesser and juniors Dylan West and Matt Austin each added goals.
“In the first half we didn’t do a real good job,” coach Ashley Yudin said. Yudin was, however, pleased with the performance of his team in the second half. But unfortunately, as the Devils’ score grew, so did the players tempers. During the second half, sweeper Jesus Herrera, a senior, was fouled by a member from the Herd. Junior Emmanuel Medina stepped up to fill in for the injured powerhouse. DHS players were fouled at least seven times by the opposing team, and one of the Herd received a yellow card.
On the other hand, the Devils weren’t angels either. Kesser, described by Yudin as the teams “point guard,” received a red card after kicking a player from the other team. According to the injured player from Elk Grove, “I just nudged [Kesser] and he got mad and kicked me”.
Yudin said that Kesser’s actions were just “retaliation,” for a kick he received from the same player earlier in the game.
That turn of events shocked no one more than Yudin. He said Kesser is a “really calm player that never get cards,” red or yellow. The loss of Kesser was upsetting to everyone, especially considering the fact that the team was already missing two key players. Junior Jacob Weiss was suspended but apparently will be returning to the field on Thursday for the Devils next game, while senior Max Flye is officially off the team for good.
“It’s a rough game,” said Gross, “there’re gonna be knocks in every game, we just gotta fight back.”
Fortunately for the Blue Devils, the prospect of a few scrapes and bruises was not enough to deter them from their goal of winning. The Blue Devils men’s varsity team will play Franklin on Thursday at Yudin field, and then continue on to the playoffs.