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The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

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The Student News Site of Briar Woods High School

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Briar Woods Boys Varsity Soccer Comes to a Close

The Independence Tigers beat the Briar Woods Falcons in a 3-0 loss, bringing the Falcons’ season to a close.
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The Briar Woods Falcons have had quite the season, ending with an overall record of 9-6-5. Although they didn’t win the district finals or advance in the regionals, the boys have a lot to be proud of, and a lot to look forward to next season.

Head Coach Ascunce reflects on the team’s accomplishments this season, expressing, “with the amount of talent that all these schools have, I was really happy that we were able to get to the regionals and be in the district finals, and coming in third, with all these good schools, is an accomplishment in and of itself.”

On Monday, May 13, the Falcons first playoff game against Potomac Falls in the district quarterfinals commenced. Throughout the entire game, Briar Woods maintained an aggressive stance both offensively and defensively, establishing a dominant force. Sophomore forward Jakub Porada scored two goals in the first half, helping the Falcons get off to an early lead. Later, in the second half, Porada was able to score three more goals thanks to help from senior defender Jacob Theiss who had two assists. Senior goalie Dylan Ott helped the Falcons shut out the Panthers with five saves, closing out their game against Potomac Falls with a 5-0 win.

Coach Ascunce comments on the team’s performance against Potomac Falls, saying, “we were able to get the ball to Porada, who scored 5 goals. Playing as a unit and team, keeping it simple, and finding Porada some space to shoot [helped us in that game].”

After the Falcons shutout the Panthers with ease in their game on Monday, they went into their district semifinal game against the Independence Tigers with a sense of assurance. They faced the Tigers on Thursday, May 16 away from home. The Falcons got off to an early lead, with porada scoring the first goal five minutes into the game. Throughout the first half, Briar Woods played a fast paced game, with an aggressive offense and high-pressure defense. Nearing the end of the first half, Porada scored the second goal for the Falcons, putting them at 2-0. With just over two minutes left before half-time, freshman midfielder Owen Mulford scored the first and only goal for the Tigers. The Falcons held their ground in the second half, to win by a score of 2-1. With nine saves, Ott helped to insure the win for Briar Woods.

Sophomore midfielder Neel Ambekar expresses his opinion on the team’s performance against the Tigers, sharing, “they beat us a couple times before that game, so I think we just worked hard, stayed humble, and [our effort paid off] because we were able to come away with the win.”

Going into their district final against Riverside on a 2 game winning streak, the Falcons fought hard to earn the District Championship, but fell to the Rams in a 3-0 loss on Monday, May 20. In the first half, the odds were in Riverside’s favor. With the Rams demonstrating strong control of the ball and solid defense, it left the Falcons little room to create scoring opportunities. Briar Woods picked up some of their slack going into the second half, showing more liveliness on offense and defense, which led to more shots on goal. Unfortunately, even with an increased number of chances to score, they were held scoreless by the Rams. Despite the Falcons’ shift in intensity during the second half, Riverside showed an increase in momentum, scoring three goals on inbound passes. The game ended with the Riverside Rams walking away with the District Championship trophy, with a final score of 3-0.

Porada shares his thoughts on the team’s game against Riverside, stating, “in the first half, we did really well, [but in] the second half, the other team scored one goal, we put our heads down, and they scored another goal after that, and we shouldn’t allow that [to happen]. We still kept trying hard, but weren’t able to come away with the victory.”

Coming off of a 3-0 loss against Riverside, the Falcons went up against the Independence Tigers once again in the regional quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 22. Briar Woods demonstrated patience and control in the first half, yet Independence’s solid offense and defense gave the Tigers the upper hand, allowing them to score two goals, made by junior forwards Ayman Magzoub and David Garcia. Coming out of half-time down by 2-0, the Falcons tried to fight back by being more physical, but were ultimately defeated by Independence, who scored their third and final goal through sophomore midfielder Ben Yasutis, ending the game 3-0.

Ambekar mentions how he feels about the season ending, explaining, “it’s a little bit heartbreaking, but I’m proud of the team and that we’ve come this far. Training together every day, playing games with each other, along with the bus rides home and team dinners [made us closer throughout the season]. It’s been great sharing memories, especially with the seniors, and it’s going to be sad to see them leave.”

Porada looks back on his favorite memories from the season, concluding, “when we beat Independence in the district semifinals, that was a really good memory because we worked very hard throughout the season to go to the finals, and making it to that final was a really fun moment. After every game we won, we always had fun celebrating on the bus with music.”

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Vi Webb, Reporter
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