After edging MAST Academy in the regional quarterfinals a few days earlier, the second-seeded varsity boys soccer team crossed paths with the third-seeded Gulliver Prep Raiders (12-7-4), looking to keep their chances of a three-peat alive.
Following a scoreless first half, both squads picked up the pace with a goal in the second to knot up the score at 1-1. The game remained tied throughout the remainder of regulation and eventually headed into a shootout, where the Raiders narrowly secured the victory to advance further in the playoffs.
“It was a very hard fought, hotly contested match between two quality teams which ultimately was decided by penalty kicks,” head coach Todd Goodman said. “Last year, we were victorious in penalty kicks in both the quarterfinals and semifinals; this year we were on the wrong side of the scoreline. You live by the sword and you die by the sword.”
For Heritage, their title run ends with the loss in the regional semifinals, signaling the end of many seniors’ tenure with the Patriots. However, while the team may take a hit with the losses of key senior athletes, Coach Goodman feels there is cause for optimism moving forward for his team and heading into next year.
“To our Senior Class, you leave here with two rings on your fingers, but more importantly, memories which will last a lifetime,” Coach Goodman said. “You’re leaving our program in a better situation than when you arrived here. Take the lessons that you’ve learned here at AHS and apply them in your next life chapters at college. To our returning players, use this bitter disappointment as motivation. It’s now your time to step up, it’s now your time to lead. We’re very excited to see what the future has in store for us.”