Boys Soccer shows incredible resilience, but falls to Westfield 2-1 in OT


Anthony Malta

A rivalry game packed with tension and determination reflects more than the scoreboard for the Raiders, who fell to Westfield 2-1 in overtime on Thursday. 


From the first whistle, the match was a back and forth battle, with the Raiders maintaining momentum fueled by their tenacious defense. Sophomore Graham Kois made multiple saves, including an outstanding one on the goal line with 12 minutes left in the first half to thwart Westfield’s hopes of breaking the tie. 


“Our team was very disciplined with how we pressed, and that was a key difference between the first game we played them,” senior Jason Trivisonno said. “Another big factor was how we were able to keep possession for a while, creating some pretty big opportunities.” 


Trivisonno’s leadership was evident and he showed why he is a team captain. Playing a crucial role on the backline, the center back did the dirty work for the Raiders when Westfield threatened. 


The intensity of the game remained as the second half went underway, leaving spectators and players wondering which squad would put a number on the scoreboard first. SPF’s Isaac Tu answered these questions about 10 minutes into the second half, with an attempted cross that snuck its way past Westfield’s defense. 


The Raiders continued to control the match until the 63rd minute, when senior Ethan Koseoglu received a red card, removing him from the game. Koseoglu was the main facilitator in the Raiders’ offense, distributing the ball to teammates and pressuring Westfield in the attacking third. 


“[Ethan] is our leading goalscorer, so it’s important for him to be out there.” Coach Alex Passucci said. “After the red card, not only did we not have Ethan on the field, we were down a man, and playing against an opponent like Westfield or any team in our conference- that’s a difficult challenge.”


This loss was a turning point in the match, as the Raiders had to play 10 v. 11 for the remainder of the game. SPF’s plan was completely altered, as they had to drop back and fight defensively for 17 more minutes to shut out their opponent, which was an extremely difficult task.


Westfield scored on a controversial free kick-turned breakaway with 9 minutes remaining that jarred confusion on both sidelines, tying the game at 1.

The Raiders continued to showcase their perseverance through the rest of regulation and into overtime hanging onto the 1-1 tie. However, they fell short when Westfield scored a game winning goal on a corner kick with 6 minutes remaining in OT. 


“We learned from our mistakes and I think the boys will remember what this feels like.” Coach Passucci told The Fanscotian. “We will continue to work and try to get better each week, and hopefully see results later in the season.” 


The Raiders proved a sense of determination and persistence that is carried far beyond the stat sheet. The team looks to defeat Bloomfield on Saturday, October 2nd.