For Daily Times Leader
The West Point Soccer Club’s U10 boys team won its division at the Tupelo March Madness Tournament last weekend by outscoring opponents 23-6 over the span of four games.
However, after the tournament, the boys on the team talked about the one goal that put them through to the championship game.
“The Sunday morning game against Oxford was a real test,” Coach Thomas Easterling said. “It was back and forth the whole time, and we had to beat or tie them to advance to the championship.”
Oxford scored first on a chip shot over Jack Ketchum. West Point’s Jack Easterling scored twice on corner kicks to give West Point a 2-1 halftime lead. After that, West Point missed on several opportunities.
“It was almost like the goal had a force field around it,” Thomas Easterling said. “We had some great chances that we just couldn’t tap in.”
Unfortunately for West Point, Oxford kept scoring.
Oxford scored with five minutes to play to go up by a goal. At that point, West Point coaches directed all their players but the keeper and a sweeper to focus on offense. Without a goal, their run in the tournament would be over. Although West Point came close twice, they could not get the ball into the back of the net. Then, with less than a minute left, an Oxford defender committed a handball just a few yards from the middle of the field.
Alex Harper lofted the ball in front of the goal, where it shimmied through the Oxford defense before it found the right foot of Collins Trolio, who blasted it into the back of the net.
“Before the play, our goalie asked the ref how many seconds were left, and he said about thirty,” Trolio said. “Coach Dave kept telling me the time, and I was like, ‘We gotta win or tie!’ So we got a free kick and Alex passed the ball to me. I kicked it and it went in. We all went crazy.”
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