Ravenwood High School – With the lights shining brightly, the Raptors stepped up and beat Independence High School 4-1 in the nights second district semi-final. With the win, they advance to tomorrow nights District Final and play Franklin who won the earlier game against Brentwood 3-0.
Before the game started, Seniors TJ Munzel, Grayson Hetherington, and Jake Hill were honored with spots on the All-District team.
Starters for tonight’s game included Jack Hyatt, Pedro Cobo, Blake Sams, Spencer Layland, Dylan Thomas, Blake Sams, TJ Munzel, Chris Barker, Jesse Boone, Jake Hill, and Grayson Hetherington.
The games first chance would come in the 5th minute when Ravenwood took the ball deep into the 18 but somehow Independence escaped with the score still tied 0-0.
Then in the 15th minute, Jake Hill, on a pretty pass from Pedro Cobo, would press hard into the 18, beat a defender and find himself 1v1 with the Independence Goalie, who earlier had been voted district goalie of the year. Hill would finish for the 1-0 Raptor advantage. He was asked to describe the goal.
Pedro had it and looked to play a through ball. I won the ball and penetrated into the box and got Tyler 1v1 and went near post. It was a great pass and great to take the lead.
The half would end with Ravenwood holding the 1 goal lead. Cobo and Lockhart made sure offensive player of the year Kevin Pierce had no legitimate chances at goal in the first half and, as a duo, possibly played their best half of soccer all year.
The second half started with Independence determined to get the game tied. Although Ravenwood held onto the lead, clearly the Eagles were determined to make a game of it. But, early in the second half, Senior Dalton Bickel entered and clearly provided a spark to his team. Just minutes later, Hill would take the ball deep into Independence territory and make a perfect cross to Bickel for the goal. Bickel was asked to describe the goal and his impact on the game.
I just wanted to come in and elevate the team a little bit. We needed some extra help at that point. On the goal, Jake got the ball wide and I made my run into the middle. He played a good cross and I jumped up and headed it past the keeper.
Joe Roebuck, Jesse Boone, and Chris Barker played with their usual energy and, combined with Bickel got the momentum back for Ravenwood. The second half also featured more stifling defense by Layland, Lockhart, Cobo, Sams, Thomas, and Chris Barker.
The Raptors would also get valuable minutes from Ben Barone, Jim Roebuck, Rolando Barker, Rafael Jaramillo, Noah Conlon, and Kyler Shakeshaft. Shakeshaft was called on when Hyatt had to briefly leave the field. Shakeshaft made a save and valuable contribution to the win.
Then, in the 55th minute, Independence was awarded a PK. Hyatt got active in goal and fortunately, the Indy player hit the post keeping the Raptor lead at 2.
The missed kick would prove to be one of the key turning points of the game. Just 5 minutes later, Hill would tally again giving Ravenwood a commanding 3 goal lead. Hill was asked to describe his second goal.
Joe (Roebuck) had a great flick which got me one on one with an Indy defender. I faked a shot with my left and took it to my right and put it back post.
Indy would get their only goal in the 70th minute.
Then in the 77th minute, TJ Munzel would create an argument on who scored the prettiest header of the night when Jesse Boone raced down the sideline and served a ball perfectly into a running Munzel who buried it making the score 4-1. Munzel was asked to take us through his goal.
I was back and I started my run when Jesse went down the left side. I had faith in him and just tried to put my head on his cross.
With the celebration just 3 minutes away, it was clear Ravenwood had no interest in a district final, at Ravenwood, without them in it.
Senior defended Pedro Cobo was asked his thoughts on the night.
In the first half my goal was to beat Kevin to the ball any time I had the chance. On the goal, I won the ball from Pierce, I saw Jake making his run and played it to him. Getting the lead was great and we took it from there. We came out in the second half and took care of business.
After the game, Coach Londono was asked to comment on the game.
I’m proud. It was exciting.We got the win and it’s exciting to play Franklin. I’m proud of them. We needed to play 2 good halves and it happened. Anything worth doing requires you to work hard. Someday, they are going to look back on this and be proud. Part of it is, can we keep ourselves in the mode where we’re focused and believe in each other. At times, its been difficult. But, tonight was different.
Coach was asked specifically why tonight was different that other points during the season.
I really think every single player on the field realized that honestly and truthfully that they were not playing the first half like the second half. They would get tired in earlier games. They would think more individually than like a team. We were successful tonight because, even thought we rehearse it and rehearse it, it really didn’t happen until today. It was a total team effort. It’s got to be 11 players and when all 11 play together, and move together, they can be successful. I’m glad we finally got it. If we do the same going forward, we can be even more successful.
Tomorrow nights final, weather permitting, is at 7pm at Ravenwood. GO RAPTORS!