"Inspire the RISE Within" is the new mission statement of Randolph-Macon Academy. It was incredible to see the RISE in the Middle School soccer team yesterday. The Yellow Jackets got off to a slow start against Wakefield Country Day School. The Fighting Owls took a three-goal lead into halftime. The Yellow Jackets had their chances, but they did not capitalize on them. The Fighting Owls added to their lead in the second half to make it 0-4.
The referees called a planned water break due to temperatures in the 90s. After the brief break, the Yellow Jackets came out a different team. They would break the ice with Grant L. scoring his first goal of the season from a rebound off the post from a shot by Nnamdi E. 1-4 with 12 minutes remaining.
The Yellow Jackets were not satisfied, as they scored again from a great shot just inside the 18 yard marker. 2-4 with six minutes remaining.
The defense stepped up as the Fighting Owls made a push to add to their lead. The Yellow Jackets countered, and Cameron K. scored his first goal of the season off a deflection from the goalkeeper's hands. 3-4 with four minutes remaining.
With a minute left of play, the Yellow Jackets were advancing the ball when the Fighting Owls committed a foul, leading to a free kick from 25 yards out. The captain of the team had just missed the previous free kick only minutes before from a similar location. He shot again. This time the goalkeeper jumped to catch the ball, but it went off his hands: GOAL! 4-4. Tie. It was more than just a tie…it was victory! Not the kind that goes down as a win, but the kind of victory that you never forget because the Yellow Jackets could have given up, but they kept fighting. They did the improbable by tying the game by scoring four goals in the final 12 minutes of the game. They embodied the Power of Grit and experienced the Power of Rise.
The tie moved them to 3-3-1 on the season and 2-1-1 in the Valley Middle School Conference. The tie keeps the door open for the Yellow Jackets to secure the #2 seed in the conference tournament if they can win their last regular season game against Sacred Heart.