Although the teams were 1-1 in their previous encounters this season, each winning on their home field, the Falcons were the underdogs, despite the rubber match occurring on Freedom’s field. The Panthers are an excellent team, having produced an overall 14-4-3 record (8-3-1 in league play) entering the game. The Falcons have had a tougher go of it with a 7-6-6 overall record (4-4-4 league).
There was no score in an athletic, competitive first half in which the teams appeared evenly matched. Freedom scored first, about eight minutes into the second half on a soaring kick from the far left side of the football field around the 35-yard line. That stirred up the Antioch fans, who began yelling, “Come on, Antioch!”
But what actually came on, about halfway through the second half, was the rain. Despite a wet soccer ball that fought its way through heavy raindrops by increasingly soaked players, they played on and Antioch tied it up with just three minutes to go.
The Panthers salvaged the tie, but the Falcons secured a moral victory by facing a seemingly superior team and matching them 1-1-1 in three league games this season.
Freedom Coach Martin Contreras is elated with how his team has done this season. “We have made school history for the boys soccer program this year; for example, most games ever won, most goals scored, least amount of games lost,” he said via e-mail. “And most important: least number of players lost to academic grades, which we have worked so hard on accomplishing all this in the years past.”