When Senior Captain Christian Fischer booted the ball down field, his intention was not to score. He was merely clearing the ball from dangerous territory for the Spy Ponders, and sending a lead pass to sophomore standout Fernando Cuervo-Torello.
However, much to the jubilation of Fischer and the rest of his team, the ball took a favorable bounce over the head of the Weston goalie and found the back of the net. It was a true miracle for Arlington’s players and their enthusiastic fans.
Fischer’s spectacular goal, midway through the second half, was from 60 yards out. The timely strike gave the Ponders a 2-1 win over the Weston Wildcats, and launched the team into the state tournament.
Coming into the DCL matchup with the Wildcats, the Ponders needed a win to make the tournament. A tie would not suffice; with a tie, the team’s season would come to an abrupt end.
Last year, the squad defeated Weston 4-2 in the final game of the season to enter the tournament. This year, a similar outcome occurred. The Ponders doubled up the Wildcats and danced their way into the tourney in dramatic fashion.
Nick Coleman, a senior captain for the Ponders, scored the opening goal, heading the ball past Weston’s keeper in the first half. Coleman leads the team in scoring, notching his 11th goal of the season in this critical game.
Senior Night at Peirce Field added to the thrill of the evening. Recognized for their contributions to AHS soccer were: Coleman, Fischer, tri-captain Trevor O’Brien-Jones, Chris Hamblin, Sam Mintz, Joey Lafyatis, Adam Long, Yannick Doyle, Kevin Casey, Otto Briner, Lewis Band, Joe Owayda, Nick Mongold, and exchange student Dennis Kretschmer. Prior to the match, the players were escorted to their parents by members of Arlington’s youth soccer teams in a celebratory tribute.
Leadership from the seniors was evident throughout the contest. The goals by Coleman and Fischer were instrumental in the team’s success. Hamblin, Long, and Mintz also played well for Arlington. Hamblin had a few headers that nearly snuck by the Weston goalie, Mintz was aggressive throughout, and Long played stalwart defense.
With the victory, these seniors know they will play at least one more game. They have a chance to excel in the playoffs and keep their season alive, much like they did on this Friday night classic.
Juniors Graham McInnis, Matt Wah, Sam Rivera, and Ryan Salocks played solid soccer in full-throttle throughout the match. Sophomore keeper Sam Flavin was extremely sturdy in net. With the exception of a goal allowed to Weston’s Adam Stewart early in the second half, Flavin’s performance was flawless.
The match was a nail-biter throughout. Ball possession was relatively even and there was constant intensity from both sides.
With Christian Fischer’s improbable goal, the Ponders are now in the state tournament, and will begin playoff action next week.