PROSPER — Despite being undefeated in district, the boys varsity soccer team has had a difficult path in competition. Although leading the current standings, the Eagles had yet another tough test in their final game of round one against second-place Lake Dallas, where they pulled out the 2-1 win in a wild last-second finish.
Prior to the match, both teams were the only undefeated teams in District 14-5A, which set the stage for a massive showdown.
But that showdown was delayed when the winter weather deemed conditions unplayable for the team. Pouring rain, chilling cold temperatures and lightning were all factors in the decision to move the game, which was played instead on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
Despite the delay, the Falcons were strong competitors and coming off a 1-0 win over Little Elm on Friday, Feb. 16. Nonetheless, the Eagles came ready to play, starting the first half by attacking the Lake Dallas back line looking to penetrate their defensive shell with speed. As the game continued, however, the Falcons found an offensive rhythm of their own and began to attack Prosper. The opponents almost capitalized on a few chances, which would foreshadow what was to come for the Eagles. The first half came to a close with both teams left hanging, and a 0-0 score to show for it.
The Eagles brought the energy out of the gates in the second half, missing a few chances right off the bat. Ten minutes went by before the first goal of the match finally came, in favor of the visiting Lake Dallas. A Falcon defender launched a long ball into the feet of his forward teammate, who them slipped it past Prosper goalkeeper Cash Varner.
The goal seemed to awaken the Eagles, who had yet to concede a game on their home field. The team regrouped, and fired chance after chance at the Falcon’s keeper, but continued to come up short each time. As time expired, the Eagles stole an equalizer with just under ten minutes remaining in the game when a familiar name, sophomore Alex Vartabedian ripped a cross into the box after cutting it back on the end line. His cross found the feet of senior Ivan Flores, who placed the first-time shot in the back of the net.
Unsatisfied with the tie, the Eagles continued to press for the second goal, but a dwindling clock proved to be the biggest enemy for the home team. In a last-chance effort, junior Cade York chipped a set piece into the box. Fellow senior Xander Shelton found the ball, and headed it off the crossbar with fifteen seconds remaining. He then collected the rebound and headed it home just as time expired.
After a short conversation between the referees, the goal was confirmed, and the Eagles flooded the field in celebration of the 2-1 victory.
“It was a great comeback for us,” head coach Ryan Rogers said. “We keep our district record unblemished at the midway point of the season.”
The Eagles are now 7-0 in district (14-1 overall) and remain atop the District 14-5A standings. Adding an assist to his 2018 tally, Vartabedian continues to lead the team in stats with eight goals and two assists. Shelton moves into a three-way tie for second in most goals with five, and York notched his second assist of the year.
Prosper will be back on the road on Friday, Feb. 23 against Little Elm for the opening game of round two. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m.