DENTON — After a cancellation to the Prosper Invitational Showcase last weekend due to the cold weather, the boys’ soccer team was eager to get back on the pitch for another tournament at Denton Ryan High School.
Prior to the competition, the Eagles have an 1-0 record, with the lone win against Wylie East last week at home.
Prosper 1, Frisco 0
Prosper kicked off the tournament against Frisco High on Thursday Jan. 12. The two teams matched up very well against one another, but Prosper outshot Frisco with their strong attacking presence. Frisco did pose a threat with 12 minutes remaining in the half when a defensive miscommunication error almost caused the Eagles to concede the first goal, but the defense was able to clear the ball out and up the field. Prosper retaliated towards the end of the half with a pair of chances by senior Boni Zarate, but both were denied swiftly by the Frisco goalkeeper. At half time the score remained 0-0.
The second half was a tale of unlucky opportunities and almost-goals for Prosper. The Eagles came out strong, dominating in possession. Their ability to move the ball around the field led to several dangerous chances on goal, but none hitting the back of the net. After 10 minutes Zarate fired a hard shot towards the lower left of the goal. The Frisco goalie just barely tipped it away and to the feet of Kason Mullins, who volleyed right over the cross bar. Over and over again, Prosper pounded the goal, looking to find that golden opportunity and hitting every part of the goal besides the netting in the process. But Prosper coach Ryan Rogers and his squad didn’t panic.
“We were doing all the right things,” Rogers said. “We just had to wait for that final one to fall. I was confident that [the goal] was going to happen.”
And finally, the goal came. In the last few moments of the game, senior Owen Baughman was fouled inside the box and awarded a penalty kick. Boni Zarate stepped up to take the kick and scored, securing a 1-0 win for the Eagles.
Prosper 3, McKinney 1
Prosper would take on long-time rivals from McKinney High on Friday, Jan. 13. With temperatures in the 30s, the game was a battle of wits for the duration of the match. At the 29-minute mark, the Eagles dismantled the ball from an attacking McKinney player, surging into a quick counter attack resulting in a corner kick. The kick was almost headed in but saved by the Lions’ goalie. Shortly after, they won a free kick at the top of the box; and it was Zarate who again found the goal for Prosper, this time curving his shot around the wall and into the lower left side of the net. They nearly made it 2-0 at the end of the half as Zarate played a through-ball with the outside of his foot to teammate Joe Vannette. The junior forward took a touch and shot the ball, but the Lion’s goalkeeper was able to come down and make the save.
The Eagles really lit up in the second. Fifteen minutes into the half they were awarded another free kick about 35 yards out from the goal. Cole Fedorczyk served a beautiful ball towards the front post, connecting with Cade York, who tapped the ball in with a tricky behind-the-leg finish to give them the 2-0 advantage.
“Before the free kick, I told Cole, ‘If I’m open on the front post just play me in,’ and it happened — I just tapped it in” York said.
The final Prosper goal came from a throw-in. It was Fedorczyk again who connected with Zarate, who sent a shot right past the McKinney’s keeper. Prosper goalkeeper Josh Goss was a crucial part to the team’s defensive effort, making several big saves in maintaining the lead. McKinney did not give up, however, and with six minutes remaining they scored. Goss made the initial save from the cross, but a player was there to tap it in, making the final score 3-1 in favor of Prosper.
This game was not only a win over their rivals, but it was also a milestone as it was Coach Rogers’ 100th win for the program.
“This has been a rivalry game for us for years and years,” Rogers said. “This was our chance to get one back on them that they got on us last year.”
The Eagles played their final game against the host team Denton Ryan. Rogers said last week that it would be another tough match for his team.
“They’re very technical and very fast, so we’ll have to make sure that we move the ball quickly and communicate well on and off the ball,” he said.
The game kicked off at 11 a.m. on Jan. 14.