Home field has its advantages — just ask members of the Phoenix boys soccer team.
Oberlin entered sectionals with a home game against Trinity. While the team won 4-1 over the Trojans,the Beachwood Bison stomped down 3-1 in the finals, ending the Phoenix season.
In familiar confines on a known pitch against the Trojans, the Phoenix struck early on a goal from the boot of junior John Elrod in the second minute. The game remained a 1-0 affair until late in the first half when, in the 26th minute, sophomore Terrell Williams drilled home a shot at close range, to be followed a minute later by first year Julian Cross converting a touch to the back of the net to push the score to 3-0.
With the Oberlin boys assuming a more defensive stance to protect their lead, they easily pushed aside the Trojan attack time and again. Adding to the score, junior Thayer Preston delivered in the 51st minute before Trinity broke the shutout in the final minutes.
Against Beachwood, Williams recorded Oberlin’s lone score early, but the steady pressure from the Bison’s attack yielded a couple of Phoenix breakdowns late in the first half and the home side carried a 2-1 lead into the break.
In the second half, Oberlin applied considerable pressure but couldn’t break through to find the equalizer. With the Phoenix pressing forward, the Bison scored a final counter-attack yielding the ultimate 3-1 result.
Completing his first year as head coach, Dan Kulp (6-11-1, 4-5 PAC) was pleased with how the team grew together and matured during the season.
“We graduate a wonderful player and person in Louis Gerard, and at the same time are very fortunate to welcome back everyone else on the team,” he said. “The boys have already begun to plan their off-season workout and indoor league play with an eye toward next year. We’re looking forward to building on what we started this year. I’m very proud of this team.”