Sloppy. That’s the only way to describe the conditions for Lopez’ final match of the season against Mt. Vernon Christian Oct. 28. Sloppy conditions—mud, rain, wind— but stellar play.
Lopez jumped out early with a goal by Malachi Cary in the first few minutes of play. The ball moved up and down the muddy, rain-soaked pitch until 15 minutes into the half, when Mt. Vernon scored twice, one on a long lob that just inched under the bar. The half ended Mt. Vernon 2, Lopez 1. The second half was less even, with the Hurricanes scoring two quick goals as Lopez keeper Levi McClerren slipped often in the mud while attempting to block shots. Much of the second half was played on the Mt. Vernon end of the field with no scoring for most of the period. The match ended Mt. Vernon 6, Lopez 1.
But the highlight of the game wasn’t the score as much as the halftime celebration of graduating seniors Ananda Velo, Josh Kramer, Gwen Westervelt, and Leah Armstrong. Coach Mycah Kraushaar congratulated each with compliments, season highlights, flowers, and loud applause from the soggy but enthusiastic crowd. Coach Mycah recapped the successes of the season, how the team grew from being considered an easy win to a force to be reckoned with, reducing goals allowed while winning three games and tying one. Season scoring was led by Cary, Ethan Patrick, and Ananda Velo. The leadership of the seniors will be missed, but the team’s overall youth can only mean a great future for Lopez soccer.
Ananda Velo (9) clears the ball from in front of the Lopez goal as Josh Kramer (27) and keeper Levi McClerren (1) help defend against Mt. Vernon.