Boys Soccer Falls Short in Season Opener
By Johnny Inama
The Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) Sharks boys soccer team has begun another season, and are looking to continue their success from previous years. The Sharks are coming off a 11-4-3 record and a loss in last year’s regional quarterfinal. The team lost several valuable starters, and seniors such as senior goal keeper, Landon Rogers-Neubarth, and senior winger, Bobby Hitchcock, will be forced to fill the shoes of the stars of last years’ team.
The Sharks played their first game on Nov. 6 against the Bartram Trail High School (BTHS) Bears, which could be one of their toughest opponents of the season. The Sharks were missing several key starters – multiple on the defense – which meant many of the first-year players would be forced to start. The game was back-and-forth for the first half, but the Sharks defense broke open and let in the attack from the Bears, as they conceded a goal with just a few minutes left in the first half, leaving the Sharks down by a goal.
Rogers-Neubarth was pulled at the half, and sophomore goal keeper, Keegan Cornett, would come in for the rest of the game in his first varsity match. The Sharks attack struggled to get anything going, and the defense conceded a penalty kick, which the Bears capitalized on and expanded their lead to two goals. The defensive struggles continued as they allowed a one-on-one opportunity, leading to the Bears third goal of the game. The attack failed to respond to the goals allowed, and the game ended with a score of 3-0 Bartram Trail, giving the Sharks their first loss in their season opener.
The Sharks will now face the Creekside High School (CHS) Knights on Nov. 17 in their first away game of the season. The attack was a weak point in their first game, but the Sharks have hope they will establish a strong attack following the loss. “We will be using more of a passing attack, have our strikers check to create space behind and having our wingers float towards the middle to create space out wide,” said Hitchcock, on how the team plans to change their game plan from the previous match.