The Elsberry Indians Soccer Team had a roller coaster week after losing two out of the four games they played.
First up was Lutheran High School, where the Indians lost 7-1. However, Head Coach Dustin Robinson explained even though Lutheran is a “top notch state” team, he was extremely pleased at how well they stood against them, even though they made a few mistakes.
“The difference in playing a good team like Lutheran is when you make a mistake they capitalize,” said Robinson.
Ben Rhoades scored the only goal for the Indians, but the team as a whole walked away knowing what it takes to play such a tough school, according to him.
Next up was the Winfield Warriors on Oct. 17, where in a double overtime game, the Indians would pull off the win with three minutes left to go. Robinson said this was a good game for them, as they have struggled all year playing back-to-back games. In fact, he said it almost wasn’t so, as they were trailing 2-1 until a penalty kick on Winfield would be the game changer. Alex Henke would convert to tie the game at two goals each. Rhoades would then add the game winner in the second overtime. Seferino Gonzalez scored the first goal, assisted by Rhoades.
“This was a good win for us considering Winfield is in our district,” said Robinson.
Although the team was feeling the pain of two back-to-back games, their real test came on Oct. 19 when they played in the Mexico Tournament. The first game of the day was against Mexico, who defeated Elsberry in the first game of the year, 5-0. According to Robinson, it almost seemed like a repeat when Mexico scored first. However, the Indians would quickly answer back with two of their own to take the 2-1 lead. But with five minutes left in the first half, Mexico tied it up. Late into the second, Mexico would again lay in two more goals.
“This was a good game and we had our chances but couldn’t find the back of the net in the second half,” said Robinson.
Rhoades and Mason Cameron would be the only two to score for the Indian team. Mason also had an assist.
The next game was against Montgomery, who the Indians have already seen three times prior this season.
“We came out on fire adding four goals in the first half and would win with a 5-1 final,” said Robinson.
Ben Rhoades scored three goals Brennen Slaughter scored one and Dalton Barber added one.
“It is tough to play a team four times and come out on top each time, but I am proud of the guys for taking care of business,” said Robinson.
Their final game this past week was on Oct. 21, against St. Charles, who last year defeated Elsberry 10-0. According to Robinson, they thought it was going to be a repeat this time around. With several injuries on the Indian team and just having played five games in six days, he said he has never seen his boy’s so determined.
“We battled and battled this whole game but couldn’t overcome a bad call in the penalty box,” said Robinson. “We would lose this game 1-0 but dominated for most of the game. It is frustrating to lose like this, but I couldn’t have asked for more out of my team.”
Grant Black would be the star this game as he made a couple “outstanding” saves that kept his team in the game.
“We didn’t allow them many quality scoring chances, but we couldn’t find the back of the net as well,” said Robinson. “We had several great opportunities and that is why I am so proud of the guys. We played on both ends of the field and put a full game together, it was a shame the players didn’t get to decide the outcome.”
Robinson said he feels as though his team is really starting to come together, especially in the last two weeks.
“I feel like our team is really starting to come together the last two weeks. It has been a lot of fun to see the guys having fun and starting to gel,” said Robinson. “Hopefully we can get healthy and have everyone for districts.”
Next up is Senior Night on Monday, Oct. 28, against Lutheran once again.
Come out and support the team for the final time this year,” said Robinson. “These seniors deserve the support for all the hard work they have put in.”