Boys’ soccer team ends Jackson drought

By Drake Hisrich, Feature Editor — Just four short months ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers broke a streak that lasted 52 agonizing seasons. The Cavs brought a championship back to the city of Cleveland for the first time since John F. Kennedy was president and Marilyn Monroe graced the screens of television sets. Just three short weeks ago, GlenOak broke a streak of their own.

The boys’ soccer team defeated Jackson for the first time in over a decade. After many close battles, the Eagles finally defeated the Polar Bears in a 1-0 victory at Neitzelt Stadium in Jackson Township.

The boys’ varsity soccer team beat the Jackson Polar Bears in the third game of their season. The soccer team went into this game with a 2-1 record with wins against Walsh and Louisville, but a loss to Hudson. There was a gauntlet of veteran leadership going into the season including defensive midfielder Michael Adelman, goalkeeper Andrew Jasser, midfielder Jack Werren, defender Elliot Rose and forward Harris Knowles. This year’s rendition of the soccer team knew they had the talent and leadership to win the match, but it was up to them to show up and perform to their capabilities.

“The stakes were so high that I’ve been mentally preparing myself for months, so I would be 100 percent prepared no matter what happened,” senior Andrew Jasser said.

The game started off fast and the nerves were evident for both of the teams. There was an abnormal amount of physicality present on the field with a battle on every play. The game went back and forth the entire first half with scoring opportunities for both teams. However, neither team was able to capitalize and the half ended 0-0.

“Going into the second half, the coaches and captains stressed to the team that the whole 40 minutes would be a battle. Last year, we were able to take a lead on them but unfortunately gave up two goals and lost. This year, we really emphasized playing for the whole 80 minutes and staying focused for the entirety of the game, and thankfully it paid off,” Adelman said.

The second half was even more competitive as physicality sparked and tempers flared. With 10 minutes left in the game, Adelman headed the ball into the net off of a corner kick in what looked to be the go-ahead goal. The GlenOak student section erupted as thoughts of the streak being broken began to become reality. However, the goal was called back because of a foul on junior Adam Bosworth during the play and the game remained tied at 0-0. With the clock continuing to dwindle the intensity increased and both teams picked up their level of play. Everyone was on their toes and their nerves were in the air.

“Everyone on both teams were giving full effort on every play and we all just had to gut it out and leave everything on the field,” senior Harris Knowles said.

The last two minutes consisted of a series of long balls, both teams desperate for a goal. Then there was two minutes left and all of the Jackson team was on the GlenOak side trying to get off a shot. There was ten seconds left and GlenOak finally got their opportunity. There was a deep clearance and junior Wesley Burton finally got his chance. He received the ball, beat one defender, then used his killer speed to beat the last defender and took the biggest shot of his life.

“Although I was scared, I knew I had to step up and take a confident strike for the sake of the team.” Burton said.

The ball soared past Jackson goalkeeper Seton Tletski and reached the bottom corner of the net. He had scored with only six seconds left and gave GlenOak the lead they had been striving for since 2001. As the ball soared out of bounds and time expired, elation overcame all of GlenOak as students poured out of the stands and onto the field to celebrate a feeling that the community has not felt since the 90s.

As the team continues to relish their record breaking performance against Jackson, they move their attention to the future and into the post-season.

“It is obviously a huge win for us, but it’s time to focus on the rest of the season. We have 75 percent of our season left and then the playoffs, so we have the potential to accomplishment a lot more. This was the end of the Jackson drought, but the beginning of bigger and better things.” Adelman said.

GlenOak continues to enhance their resume by getting more season defining victories such as the Jackson game. The team continues a strong start as they boost a 6-2 overall record and a 2-0 record in Federal League play.

[Updated Aug. 19, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]