The varsity soccer team played its most exciting game of the season and came away with a deserved 1-1 draw on the road against last year's regular season and tournament champions, Highland. All the elements of our training drills came together in a stunning display of controlled attacking and resolute defending.
Highland managed to nick a goal before half-time from a mix-up in a packed penalty area where a deft back-heel flick sent the ball over the on-rushing keeper. Up until that point, Highland had rarely threatened, with R-MA creating the best chances. Lucas Costa ’17 went closest in the opening minutes with a close-range effort that the Highland keeper just got his finger tips to.
In the second half, R-MA took the game to Highland with wave after wave of attack, finally creating the equalizer after a driving run and shot from a tight angle by Samson Jiya ’18 that defied the law of physics to bend around the keeper and inside the far post. The Jackets continued to threaten with Timmy Fajembola ’17 leading the line and being a constant threat.
In the dying minutes, Highland managed to create some late drama with a couple of corners, but R-MA's defense of Ryan Latham ‘18, Alan Arriola ‘18, Habib Issa ‘18, combined with defensive stopper Edwin Ikhinmwin ‘17 remained steadfast and resolute as they had all game. Cailen Baggett ’18 produced a virtuoso performance in goal to close down any breakaways with some excellent goalkeeping.
R-MA went into this match facing a team that won every game last season and who have dominated the Delaney Athletic Conference in similar fashion for many seasons now. This performance and result validated that R-MA can play with the big boys and continue to progress in only their fourth conference game.