The men’s soccer team at Maryville pushed through to make it to the playoffs on Tuesday, October 26 after defeating University of Missouri St. Louis, UMSL, 2-1 in double overtime.
After a few minutes of warm-up, the game against UMSL started. With a tough first half and many shots on goal, UMSL scored 42 minutes in the game, giving them a 1-0 lead over the Saints.
After halftime, the boys returned to the field knowing a goal wasn’t something they wanted, but needed. For many of the boys, making the playoffs was something they have wanted since their Maryville soccer careers started.
“We have been working four years for this. Four years and we finally got it,” Colby Gumm, senior, said. Fifty-nine minutes into the game, the Saints tied up the scoreboard after Sander Heieren scored on a free kick.
UMSL players couldn’t believe the goal, which deflected off of their own teammate’s head and bounced over the goalie and into the net. “I called it. I said the ball would bounce right over the goalie. I could feel it,” Kevin Ptacek, senior, said.
The fans lined the sidelines, including many parents who traveled hundreds of miles to see their boys play. Viewers became more and more anxious as the game moved into sudden death overtime, and then into a sudden-death double overtime.
With minutes left in the game, the Saints controlled the ball in the upper-half and a stressed UMSL team lead to a foul and penalty kick for player Nico Andrade, senior, who drilled the ball into the net, leading the Saints to victory.
While the goal itself was incredible and put the Saints into the playoffs, Andrade had even more of a reason to be on cloud nine. “That goal was even more special to me, because it was the last game of the regular season,” Andrade said. “And above all, [it was] in front of my family that came to watch me play here for the first time.” Andrade ran over to his parents on the sideline and celebrated the victory and was joined by the rest of his team and coaches. Nico explained it to be “a feeling of ecstasy.”
After their victory, the Saints were not guaranteed a spot in the playoffs until they found out the results of the Bellarmine v. Southern Indiana game. The team met in the DUC with their coaches to stream the game online, hoping for a Southern Indiana win. Within the first ten minutes, Bellarmine scored and was leading the game 1-0 until the last ten minutes. In those final minutes, Southern Indiana scored once to tie up the game, and again with a minute and a half left in the game. After the Southern Indiana victory, the DUC was filled with loud cheers as the boys saw the standings with Maryville in the number eight spot, guaranteeing their spot in the playoffs.
For the first time in history, our Maryville Saints men’s soccer went to the playoffs. They played the top-seed, Rockhurst, on Oct. 30, 2016 and lost 0-3. Congrats to our Saints soccer team!