Photo by Carleigh Dickinson

Co-captain and communications senior Louis Dirienzo stands beside foreign language teacher and Dreyfoos boys’ soccer coach Thomas Ruth as he instructs the team for the second half of the game. After losing 3-1 to Palm Beach Lakes High School on Nov. 12 in their first game of the season, he still maintains hope for the long season ahead. “I am very proud of my guys’ effort. [It was] a great game and goal,” Mr. Ruth said. “I really didn’t know what to expect, and I saw that we have a lot of talent and it will get better.”

Nosebleeds, yellow cards, and non-stop tension: the Dreyfoos boys’ soccer team took on Palm Beach Lakes High School’s boys’ soccer team in their first game of the season on Monday, Nov. 12, and it was not one to miss. But, in case you did miss it, here’s a recap:

Before the game, the team was already in a high-stress situation. Many players were late due to the band concert, with one of them being co-captain and band senior Ryan Svopa.

Photo by Carleigh Dickinson
Players watch as communications senior Johan Kramm wins the ball from the opposing team. Much like others, Kramm sees a bright future for this year’s season. “The rest of the season will be a lot stronger all around,” Kramm said. “We were missing a lot of good players tonight and because it was our first game, it wasn’t our best performance. I am looking forward to seeing a lot better ball movement and more plays.” The boys’ next game is Wednesday, Nov. 14.

As soon as the first whistle rang through the crowd, there was action. After a couple of minutes, Palm Beach Lakes scored, the ball slipping through goalie and visual senior Carlos Molina’s hands. Throughout the rest of the first quarter, the boys were challenged with an aggressive offense. With a couple saves from Molina, however, Palm Beach Lakes had no chance at another goal. Dreyfoos ended the first quarter behind by 1-0.

  By the end of first quarter, there was sweat dripping off of players and fans alike. This was not just from Florida’s humidity, but also from the numerous offsides calls and penalty kicks that kept the crowd on the edges of their seats. Toward the end of the second quarter, the game started to get hot and intense; the players found themselves arguing with the referees over calls, and everyone, both players and spectators, awaited to see the outcome of the upcoming half.

Photo by Carleigh Dickinson
Caption for above photo: Watching the opponent set up an indirect penalty kick right outside the box, goalie and visual senior Carlos Molina prepares for the incoming ball.

Foreign language teacher and new boys’ soccer coach Thomas Ruth strategically placed team members on the field. This gave the boys the best chance of keeping up with the competition after the first half of the game left them behind by a goal. At first, Dreyfoos started with great control of the ball and the odds were looking good. Then, Palm Beach Lakes scored their second goal from a breakaway. This put the scoreboard at 2-0, leaving Dreyfoos players frustrated and craving more. With this frustration came aggression, but not only from Dreyfoos. Players were tripped. Elbows were thrown, with one even landing on Svopa’s face, leading to a bloody nose.

With a few questionable calls, the team grew more irritated by the play. With the outbursts from the team, the referee soon pulled a yellow card out of her pocket, forcing Dirienzo to take a seat on the bench. Upon Dirienzo’s return to the field, he landed a shot in the back of Palm Beach Lake’s net, bringing the score to 2-1. Palm Beach Lakes was still in the lead.

Photo by Carleigh Dickinson
Quickly leaning left, then making a sharp move to the right, Dirienzo beats the defender and speeds toward the opponents’ goal.

As time counted down, the tension grew. More offside calls and penalty kicks were taken, but none leading to any goals. Then, Palm Beach Lakes scored. After distant yells from the coaches and crowd members, claiming the player who scored was offsides, the referees decided to still count the goal. With only minutes left, the score was 3-1, but Dreyfoos played their hardest until the final whistle blew.