On a cold Oct. 3 afternoon, the men and women’s soccer teams both put on great matches. They showed the heart and the fight that makes Ranger Athletics great. Both teams could’ve packed it in late, but they showed killer instinct and dug deep. The men’s team faced Bellarmine University, who are right behind us in the GLVC standings. They were aggressive early and often, getting a few good shots on goal early. Senior Goalkeeper Marcos Perez showed why he won Division 2 National Player of the Week last week, flashing his quick reflexes early for a great save. Though Bellarmine controlled the game early, the men showed great patience and skill on defense. It was pretty physical and emotional throughout, with five yellow cards in the game (three on Parkside including Coach Zitzke and two on Bellarmine). The boys finally struck with nineteen minutes left in the first half, with Junior Elliott Schultz scoring a goal, credit the assist to fellow Junior Antonio Gonzalez. There were a few more chances late, but we couldn’t quite capitalize, ending the half up one to nothing. The second half started like the first, with Bellarmine controlling the tempo early, but Parkside making good progress up the pitch. Perez was saving everything that came his way, but with seventeen minutes left, one slid by, notching the game up at one; it seemed overtime was imminent. Both teams clearly wanted it, as it got really physical late, with two Bellarmine players getting carded late. But, the good guys caught a break in the final few seconds with Senior Jorge Ontiveros scoring the winning goal, pushing Parkside’s record to 6-4.
The women also showed great fight against the same opponent, Bellarmine University (two behind the Rangers in the GLVC standings). The Lady Rangers came into the game with a perfect seven wins, no losses, and one draw on the year, looking to preserve their spot atop the GLVC standings with a victory. The match started with Parkside being extremely aggressive and attacking early, controlling most of the game. Parkside had five shots on goal with twenty minutes left, but finally broke through on a Karley Mecko header off of a Niekie Pellens corner kick. The women went into the half up by one, looking very formidable. The second half opened up with Bellarmine looking more desperate, getting physical, picking up a yellow card with twenty-nine minutes left. The women started to slow down a step, and that’s when Bellarmine went on a late run, scoring with eight minutes left, tying it up at one a piece. The game went into overtime with both teams looking to get that second elusive goal. Parkside controlled both overtime periods, but it wasn’t enough, as the game ended in a one-one tie. Though it preserved the women’s perfect record, I think I speak for them when I say they would have much rather got the outright W. Both teams showed tremendous drive, determination, and winning spirits.
Article by Jalen Perry