The Midway Raiders’ historic soccer year came to a close Saturday night in the second round of the state 1A soccer playoffs, with a 3-0 road loss to Spring Creek.
The score, coach Allan McLamb stressed, was not a true picture of how good the game was nor how hard his team battled.
“Spring Creek is a good team, and they were playing with a lot of emotion and a lot of heart Saturday night; in the end, that made the difference.”
Emotions were running high as the Gators took the field, having found out only a short time before the game that their coach had become seriously ill and had to be taken to the hospital.
“There was no question that had an impact on their emotions and the heart they were showing,” McLamb said. But he was quick to point out that Spring Creek was a very good, fast team, anyway, and that the battle between the Gators and the Raiders was a physical one from start to finish.
It was so physical, in fact, two Raider team members were injured, with one, Juan Ortiz, taken to the hospital because they though he had broken his arm.
McLamb said, thankfully, doctors indicated that Ortiz only had a deep bruise.
But even though Spring Creek was tough, Midway, their coach said, had their opportunities.
“We had some open looks; we just blew them off front. It was 2-0 at the half, but we came back ready to play, and we had our chances. We just didn’t capitalize on them.”
But despite the loss, McLamb said it had been a really good soccer season, one which saw Midway ranked second in the Tri-County Conference and entering the state playoffs for the first time in school soccer history.
“We are in the building process as far as our soccer program goes, and I think these boys have done a great job. We’ll take all the parts of this season and learn from it, and we will come back next year ready to go again,”McLamb attested.
The Raiders will lose eight players from the soccer team this year, but McLamb said interest was growing and there were many coming up from middle school that would be ready to play come next fall.
“We’ll have a good team; I’ve no doubt about that.”