Aug. 30—For the first time in 5 years, Somerset and Southwestern's boys' soccer programs would meet on the pitch on Saturday night. The stands at the Reservation were filled and everyone was expecting an emotional battle between the two bitter cross-town foes.
However, it was a different type of battle than most fans would have expected, as two top-tier goal keepers in sophomore Landen Lonesky for Somerset and freshman Gunner Schlosser for Southwestern would result in a defensive struggle for a majority of the game. As the game drew to a close, the two teams would settle for a draw by a score of 0-0.
The first real opportunity for either team came in the 17th minute, as sophomore for Southwestern Dante Cabalero would have a shot that would be tipped over the goal by Lonesky. Then in the same minute, senior Jack Wilson would attempt a bicycle kick into the net that was saved by Lonesky.
In the 23rd minute, Somerset would have their first close shot on goal, as an attempt by junior Jefry Lopes-Radilla would be saved by Schlosser. Southwestern would have a shot just barely blocked by Lonesky in the 30th minute by senior Caleb Perrin. Lopes-Radilla would close out the half with a close attempt on the net that was saved once again by Schlosser. It looked like the first team to score here would take home the victory.
Coming out of halftime in the 42nd minute, senior for Somerset Chanler Edwards would have a breakaway attempt on the goal, with his shot going just wide of the net. Close attempts by both teams would follow in the 53rd minute by Somerset sophomore Andrew Tomlinson, in the 55th minute by Southwestern senior Ryan Vu, and in the 57th minute by Edwards.
In the 59th minute, Tomlinson would have a free kick about 10 or so yards away from the net that was just barely saved by Schlosser. As the final 20 minutes of the game approached, it was clear that neither team was giving an inch.
After a defensive back-and-forth over the following 10 minutes, Tomlinson once again found a shot at the goal in the 74th minute that was ultimately saved again by Schlosser.
Lopes-Radilla would find one more look at the net in the 79th minute, before it was saved by Schlosser. As Southwestern possessed the ball in the game's final moments, Cabalero would find one more shot attempt, although it too was saved by Lonesky. The final buzzer sounded and both teams would have to settle for the 0-0 draw.
It was a defensive struggle the majority of the game, however both crowds were lively for the entirety of the contest. The players, despite clearly wanting to win, showed admirable sportsmanship throughout the game. After waiting five years to play each other, hopefully fans of local soccer don't have to wait that long again to watch these teams play each other again.
Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @PrattTheNation