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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Boys soccer falls to Whitman in playoffs

The+Cats+line+up+before+their+match+against+the+Vikings.+The+Cats+went+on+to+lose+a+close+match+in+OT+after+conceding+two+late+goals.
Courtesy WJ Boys’ Soccer
The Cats line up before their match against the Vikings. The Cats went on to lose a close match in OT after conceding two late goals.

Boys soccer wrapped up their 8-3 season with a loss to the Whitman Vikings in the regional semi-finals after a very close game.

The Cats’ playoff campaign began with a home match against the Gaithersburg Trojans on Wednesday, Oct. 25. This was the second meeting between the two teams this season after the Cats won 4-2 in September. This opening playoff match provided the Cats an opportunity to continue their good run of form, entering the playoffs with five straight wins.

“We started our winning streak against BCC, and this gave us the momentum we needed since they’re our biggest rival, which was followed by beating our other rival Churchill on senior night. From then, everyone on the team was just locked in and contributing in their own way,” senior Loic Nsoga-Mahob said.

The Cats won 3-1 courtesy of goals from Nsoga-Mahob and juniors Jacob Lindsey and Javier Diaz in what was a complete and dominant showing from the team to start the playoff campaign.

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“It was an amazing experience and luckily the way I contributed was by scoring goals,” Nsoga-Mahob said.

This left the Cats with a quick turnaround as they prepared to face off against the Vikings in the regional semifinals on Friday, Oct. 27. The Cats were well aware of the challenge that the Vikings posed, as a previous meeting in the season had seen their biggest loss of the year — 3-0 at the Vikings stadium.

This was a hard fought and tight game that did not see a goal until WJ broke the deadlock late in the second half. When the game seemed to be in control for the Cats, the Vikings scored a late goal to tie the game and send it to overtime. This sudden change in momentum continued in OT as five minutes in, the Vikings scored a golden goal to end the match.

It was a heartbreaking elimination from the playoffs after such a competitive and challenging match. The growth of the team was more than visible during the game as the Vikings did not lead until the final play in OT.

“The loss to Whitman was very disappointing for us. We were winning until there was one minute left in the game so that makes it even more frustrating,” junior Cody Dembo said.

For the team’s seniors, the loss was especially difficult to take as it meant that they had played their final game for the school. The season began with multiple injuries to key players and several difficult results. Still, the team was able to come together and thanks to many players stepping up, they recovered to end with a very respectable record and a formidable performance in the playoffs.

“It was a tough way to end a great season. We came together and peaked at the right time, taking down top teams and winning six in a row. We had a memorable season proving people wrong while also leaving a strong [senior] legacy,” senior Sunjay Bista said.

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Jose Tovar
Jose Tovar, Assistant Sports Editor
Jose is a sophomore who is an Assistant Sports Editor for the Pitch this year. This is his second year on the pitch and in his free time he enjoys watching sports.
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