On Senior Night, most schools introduce, honor, and give tokens of gratitude for their departing seniors. On the Southwestern High School boys soccer Senior Night, they were given all that and most of them left the Plains with a scored goal in a 10-0 mercy rule win over Barbourville.
The game ended in the 49th minute, when Southwestern High school senior Man Patel scored his very first goal on a penalty kick.
"I am happy to see some of these seniors score, and Man Patel ended the game scoring his first goal ever," Southwestern boys soccer coach Sean McBride said with a huge smile. "I always try to get seniors involved in the game and in the scoring on Senior Night. It is about them, and these guys have given so much time to the program over the years, and most of them have played here four years. We definitely wanted them to enjoy their last regular-season game."
The entire Warrior squad enjoyed the game as they plotted and passed around the perimeter in efforts to get a goal set up for each senior on the field. Nine different players scored in the game and six of the goals scored were by seniors.
"I was telling them at halftime I really wish we would play with greater possession mindset even against better teams, because sometimes we try to force passes when they're not there," McBride stated. "I had some restrictions on them before the game and that really forced us to play some good possessions."
Senior Jerry Hatfield scored the first goal of the game off a rebound from a blocked Chase Eastham shot in the eighth minute. One minute later, junior Juan Contrares scored after he rebounded his own blocked shot.
In the 12th minute, junior Keegan McDaniel scored from the right corner of the penalty box off a throw-in set.
In the 17th minute, Eastham drew the keeper away from the goal and passed off to senior Dylan Stevens who shot to a wide-open net.
In the 21st minute, Stevens returned the favor to senior Chase Eastham, who scored past the keeper on a 'no look' shot. One minute later, Eastham passed off to senior Mason Mink, who scored on a crossing shot.
Junior Carson Albright ended the first half with a pair of goals to put the Warriors up 8-0 at the break. In the 25th minute, John Noyola passed off to Albright for the easy score. In the 37th minute, Albright scored again after he picked up a loose ball and scored from the top right corner of the 18-yard box.
In the 43rd minute, senior Aldo Flores passed off to senior Christian Fulk, who scored from close range.
"A lot of these seniors were contributors and role players off the bench last season, and now they have become our stars and our leaders this year," McBride stated. "They are still learning and growing into that. Now it is time to 'Put up or Shut up'. We have had moments where we played really great soccer and we have played with really good teams for parts of games, but we've got to go out there and do it the whole game."
Southwestern (8-10-2) concluded their regular season and will host Wayne County, at the Plains, in the 48th District Championship on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.