The varsity boys soccer team defeated Alliance this Thursday in a commanding 5-0 win. The team fought hard against the extremely physical Alliance Boys at their home field, and this work eventually paid off in four consecutive late goals in the second half.
Starting this late game force was Adam Ryan, who first scored off of a David Earley assist. This goal came after minutes and minutes of missed shot and missed opportunities from the team, mostly attributed to Alliance’s physical defence intervening and taking the momentum away from the offence. It’s safe to say that Ryan’s goal allowed the team to breathe a huge sigh of relief, and this was reflected in the team’s celebration after the fact - with Ryan giving the signature “thumbs down” to the crowd.
After this shot, the floodgates began to open for the Dukes. Just a few moments later, Antonio Vitale scored to make it 2-0.
At this point in the game, Alliance seemingly began to vent their frustration at an extremely visible level. The team started to commit multiple blatant fouls on the Dukes, even more than their physical play would normally warrant. This all culminated in a foul inside the penalty box, which led to Adam Ryan scoring his second goal on the PK.
Tay Lallie followed this up by adding a goal of his own off of a Vitale assist to make it 4-0. Lallie notably celebrated after his goal by carrying the ball by hand back to midfield on his own, as to rub salt in the opposition’s wound.
David Sutton would weave through multiple defenders and score to cap off the second half outburst from the team.
The game proved to be a straining affair from both sides; certainly due to the known rivalry between Alliance and Marlington in general, but also for the increasingly personal hostility that has been created over the past few years between these two teams in particular. It’s no secret that both teams do not like each other very much from a general outlook.
Players from each team talked their share of trash talk on social media before the game, which prompted both sides to go into this game with the intention of proving each other completely wrong.
Marlington Senior Jensen Zagray had this to say regarding the situation leading up to the game: “We needed a win to close out the season, and we knew that (Alliance) wanted to beat us really bad - especially with all of their trash talk. They ended (Coach Cowgill’s) season before, so we needed revenge too.”
Even in saying all of this, Alliance Junior Sam Holt boiled down their loss to a few different reasons rather than any sort of hostility between the teams.
“Marlington is a much older team (than us). Their soccer IQ’s are much higher and eventually we just wore down. I don’t think the score represented how we played last night at all.”
Whatever the reason for the loss might’ve been, the game showed exactly why the Dukes are ready and willing to enter the playoffs with ruthless aggression. Regardless of who they play, they go into each game playing their own style of soccer - a style that has produced remarkable outcomes throughout the season, and they displayed this in their defeating of Alliance.