MCKINNEY — Week two of high school soccer was not easy for the Prosper High School boys soccer team. The boys had a tough week of scheduling in the opponents, and inclement weather didn’t help the cause, but the team pulled out two big wins against quality opponents.
After dismantling the number one team in the region, Carrollton RL Turner, the team extended their winning streak to four games in district, remaining undefeated after taking down McKinney North on Friday, Feb. 9th.
“We played really hard tonight and defended well,” head coach Ryan Rogers said. “I was happy with the way we kept grinding even though we didn’t have a lot of success offensively.”
The Eagles made the short road trip to McKinney for the Friday night matchup. Rogers said on Tuesday it would be a tight match.
“We’ve been in the same district for years, so we know each other really well,” he said prior to the match.
Given the history between the two programs, the game lived up to hype. Per their usual game plan, Prosper was out to a hot start in the opening minutes. Looking to attack early, the team forced a turnover, and sophomore Alex Vartabedian capitalized, netting his team-leading seventh goal of the year to put Prosper ahead.
But North wasn’t prepared to back down, and battled their way back into the match.
“The game turned into more of a counter-attacking contest,” Rogers said. “It wasn’t pretty game by any means. I would say it definitely continued the trend of tough games we always have against North.”
Both squads tried to beat the other over the middle, which created quite the chaos and limited the control of the possession from either end. The sloppy play finally paid off for the Bulldogs, who finally equalized on a long ball into the box later in the half. A free North player collected the cross, challenged keeper Cash Varner on the one-on-one attack and successful slipped the ball into the goal.
Despite losing the lead, Prosper remained diligent in finding their next goal. Patiently, the team mustered up a quick play as Vartabedian slotted a pass to the feet of fellow sophomore Jack Simonini. Simonini held the ball from a North defender and calmly sent a shot past the Bulldog keeper. The 2-1 score held through halftime, and although McKinney North looked to find a way to equalize again, the score would stand through the full 80 minutes of play.
Simonini is now tied for second with senior Chris Nayler-Gress for goals scored, recording his fifth in Friday’s contest. In addition to scoring in back-to-back game, Vartabedian added his first assist of the year to his overall stats. The team has scored a total of 38 goals, and allowed just five in thirteen games.
“It feels great to be 4-0, but the team knows that there’s still a long road ahead. It’s important to focus on each game individually and not get caught up in records, streaks, or rankings,” Rogers said.
With the win, Prosper now sits atop District 14-5A with record of 4-0 (11-1-0). They will be back at home on Tuesday, Feb. 13 to play the Colony at 7 p.m. before taking on Carrollton Creekview the following Friday.