Marysville’s Jared Boomstra attempts to clear the ball from the Monarchs’ net in the second half of the match against Pickerington North. Marysville lost Thursday night 1-0, ending their 2021 season. (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff)
The 26th seeded Marysville Monarch boys soccer team ended its 2021 fall season Thursday night after suffering a 1-0 first-round tournament loss to the 15th seeded Pickerington North Panthers.
“We thought it was going to be a tough matchup,” Marysville head coach Brent Harmanis said. “We thought it would be a solid 50/50 all the way around and it was a lot of what we expected.”
As flags whipped inside Pickerington North’s stadium, the Division I Monarchs and Panthers got right to business. As attendees braced the chilly weather, players on the field kept warm as opposing players bumped elbows with high intensity.
Ball possession remained roughly equal in the first portion of the first half. Midway through, the Monarch received their first card of the game after junior Gabe Tangeman collided with a Panther.
That caused the official to draw the first yellow card of the match.
After the penalty, Pickerington North took advantage of an opening in the defense, connecting for the only goal of the contest.
Trying to stay warm for the next chance, both teams huddled together addressing mistakes caused in the first half.
The match resumed right where the competitors left off, sprinting for a chance at possession. Roughly a third of the way into the second half, Pickerington North was issued its first yellow card after one of its own became feisty with a Monarch.
Shortly after the second yellow card, emotions began to take over the pitch. At one point, after the ball traveled out of bounds, a Monarch and a Panther began to shove each other after the whistle was blown.
Keeping their heads on straight, other Monarch and Panther players separated the two parties.
The Panthers began to bolster their defense as time slowly ticked away. With multiple shots and chances to get the ball in the net, the Monarchs came up short and saw their season end.
“Pickerington North is a good team,” Harmanis said. “We knew it might come down to set pieces and it did.
“Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of it.”
The loss ultimately ended the Monarchs soccer season and with that the evolution of the team — learning from this loss for next year. The ugly side of transitioning, for any team, is the farewell of its senior class.
It is the end of the road for eight senior Monarchs — Fernando Rios, Wyatt Griffith, Cory Cordell, Christian Gonzalez, Bryce Thomas, Boomstra, JJ Rigsby and Grant Kaifas.
“They mean a lot to me,” Harmanis expressed with emotion. “They leave it all on the field and they’ve done so well over the four years… I am proud of what they left on the field.”
Looking ahead the team is set to start off-season training in the next coming months. When asked about the next time the team will convene together again, Harmanis said the team is a unit and they always hangout with each other outside of the classroom and off the field.
However, there are just a few things Harmanis sees that the team needs to improve on for next season.
“We’ll get into the weight room, that’s the big thing,” Harmanis said. “We got more room to grow… the guys love to hang out together.”
Riggby’s fall season is not over yet, however, as the senior serves as the football team’s kicker.
MHS ended its soccer season with a record of 6-7-7.