In the freezing weather, under the shining lights of the soccer field, the Richard Montgomery boys soccer team lined the field, hoping to start their playoffs off with a win against the Wootton Patriots. Despite the weather and vocal home crowd for the Patriots, the boys were able to pull of a decisive victory, beating them 5-1.
The Rockets took to the field, undaunted by the loud cheering of Patriots fans and began with surprising aggression. 10 minutes into the first half to start the game, the Rockets were able to secure a penalty goal that put them ahead of the Patriots by one.
However, Wootton struck back with increased vigor in their play and after several minutes of heavy offense, the Patriots were able to break through and score a goal with 20 minutes left on the clock. Afterwards, both teams were unable to make any moves past each other’s’ defense and the first half would end 1-1.
When play resumed, the Rockets continued to play solid defense and aggressive offense. Suddenly, the boys saw an opportunity for a goal as Wootton’s defense faltered. The Rockets took advantage of their slip and scored an early goal just moments into the second half. The RM defense continued their solid front as Wootton attempted to equalize, stuffing their every try.
Sustaining their high level of play, the Rockets created another opportunity with still 33 minutes left. Weaving the ball past all of Wootton’s defenders, junior Robert Beringer scored an easy goal, extending the lead to 3-1.
Although there was still plenty of time left, the Patriots were visibly upset with the score. Wootton had been one of the top teams in the county up until then, and RM came in as an underdog.
Despite their increased intensity, RM’s defense still held on strong and gave no chances for Wootton to score. “I think we really played well in the second half, we defended well as a team and had really well coordinated attacks” senior captain Santiago Zegarra said.
With the momentum shifting in favor of the Rockets, they followed up with two more goals from Zegarra and junior Christopher Gillaspy. Only 4 minutes remained, and victory was clear for the Rockets.
“My team played well,” boasted senior captain Michael Aidoo. “We pulled off a win in a scary environment with all the opposing fans. I’m really proud.”
“We played one of our best games today,” Zegarra added. “We defended well as a team and had great offense.”
Coach Brian Urioste believed the team truly played as a team for the first time, “we maintained composure throughout the game and supported each other throughout the game” Urioste said.
The Rockets look forward to their next playoff match against Gaithersburg. “We’re going to analyze our games and put in hard work everyday,” explained Urioste.