Sometimes, everything just all comes together at the right time. Such was the case with Keyser's girls' and boys' soccer teams on Senior Night at Keyser High School on Tuesday. There was a bit of pomp, with a little bit of circumstance mixed in, and most impressively, wins for both the boys' and girls' teams.
By Chapin Jewell
Sometimes, everything just all comes together at the right time. Such was the case with Keyser’s girls’ and boys’ soccer teams on Senior Night at Keyser High School on Tuesday. There was a bit of pomp, with a little bit of circumstance mixed in, and most impressively, wins for both the boys’ and girls’ teams.
It was indeed a special night, as seniors Aaron Boggs, Zach Marsh, Antonio Donda, Elizabeth Badillo, Gabby Baker, Karleigh Smith, Orianna Dean, Haylea Wilson and Katie Hardy were honored. In addition to the special presentation for the seniors, players from the Potomac Highlands Soccer Club were recognized at halftime of the boys’ game as well.
With the extra energy surrounding Senior Night, and the presence of up and coming youth soccer players in attendance, the victories made for an extra special, memorable occasion.
For the Keyser girls, this represented the first victory of the season for the Lady Tornado, and it couldn’t have come on a bigger or better night. Entering the contest, the Lady Tornado had a winless record of 0-15 and had been outscored by a large margin, with only two offensive goals to their credit. Keyser had also previously lost to Petersburg 4-1 on Sept. 24 in Petersburg.
Despite their lack of wins, the Keyser girls never gave up and kept plugging away and plugging away, despite the less than favorable outcomes. But, they didn’t quit, showing dedication to their sport, their team and their school, fighting hard until earning their first victory.
On this night, the Lady Tornado would hold Petersburg scoreless and put up four goals of their own in earning the 4-0 victory. Keyser’s four goals actually doubled their prior offensive output for the whole season.
In the victory, Keyser received two goals from senior Gabby Baker, one goal from senior Karleigh Smith, and another from Paige Durr. In earning the victory, the Lady Tornado not only inspired themselves, but energized their enthusiastic fan base assembled in celebration of the victory, creating a nice memory for all involved.
Not to be outdone, but more importantly to add to the celebration, the Keyser boys earned an equally impressive 9-0 win over Petersburg, exploding offensively for the second game in a row. With the victory, Keyser has outscored their last two opponents 16-2. In addition, the win over the Vikings lifts Keyser’s record to 4-11 overall; the Golden Tornado have now won three of their last six games.
“It was great to get the win on Senior Night and have the entire team contributing to the win,” an excited Keyser coach Chris Halbritter said after the contest.
Keyser led with a 4-0 advantage at halftime and added five additional goals in the second half to earn the 9-0 victory.
Keyser benefitted greatly from a hat trick by senior Antonio Donda; Lonnie Pridemore was next with two goals; Paul Knotts, Noah Dawson, Seth Earnest and senior Zach Marsh each scored one goal apiece.
Also netting assists for the Golden Tornado were senior Aaron Boggs, Lonnie Pridemore, Paul Knotts, Seth Earnest and Edan Parks.
“A few highlights of the evening were a hat trick from senior Antonio Donda, excellent defensive play to grab our first shutout, and without a doubt, the biggest was senior Zach Marsh’s goal late in the second half,” Halbritter stated.
According to Coach Halbritter, “Zach is a senior who has put in an incredible amount of work for us the past several years and he’s a fan favorite. The crowd, players on the field and bench were going crazy when he found the back of the net late into the second half. It’s a memory as a coach I’ll never forget.”
Keyser next plays at Allegany today at 7:00, before finishing the regular season with a road trip to Bishop Walsh on Oct. 14, followed by a home game with Southern on Oct. 15.
The excitement of the Senior Night victories will be a memorable moment for the Keyser boys and girls, as well as their parents, coaches and fans. There has been some disappointment at times throughout the season, but both squads are undoubtedly playing their best Soccer late in the season. This marked improvement is a clear sign that both teams are trending in the right direction. This marked improvement produced a great, shared memory between the two teams.