Soccer Earns Shot at First Place With 2-0 Win Over Episcopal
The varsity soccer team went into their final regular season home game Tuesday with the understanding that they needed a win and the three standing points that would come with it to set up a winner-take-all scenario for the IAC regular season championship in the last game of the season later this week at Landon. Episcopal also knew what was at stake for the Bulldogs and deployed a 10-man defensive strategy that seemed to indicate the Maroon would be satisfied with a draw. If that was the objective, they were successful through the first 40 minutes as St. Albans controlled the ball on the EHS side for most of the half but found themselves constantly surrounded by 3 and 4 defenders. Despite six corners, several close-in free kicks and six shots on goal, the Bulldogs could not break through. This was not unfamiliar territory for the STA coaches and players as other teams have played strong defensive formations earlier in the season.
The Bulldogs came out in the second half with a plan to draw the defense out wider to the edges of the field, create more plays in space and put more balls on frame. At the 56:15 mark Wayne Frederick ’22 found himself in the middle of the field at the top of the penalty box surrounded by three EHS defenders and, following the revised game plan, played the ball wide to Thomas Schehl ’24 on the left wing. Schehl attacked the penalty area with speed forcing the on-ball defender to turn, then cut back to beat that defender who had no choice but to trip Schehl from behind. The foul resulted in a penalty kick, which Rustin Khosravi ’22 converted for a 1-0 Bulldogs lead.
Just a few minutes later, James Boyle ’22 created space for himself above the penalty area and drilled a left-footed shot to the upper left corner of the net from 20 yards out. The Bulldogs locked the game down defensively after that to clinch at least second place in the final IAC standings and give themselves a chance to finish first overall in the league.
St. Albans moves to 6-0-3 in IAC play for 21 points and Landon is 7-0-2 for 23 points after beating Bullis Tuesday. The regular season championship will come down to Thursday’s game (moved from Friday for weather considerations). Landon will earn the title with a draw or win while St. Albans needs to win to claim the banner. There is no scenario in which the teams will share first place. Please note the game has been moved from Friday at 4pm at Landon to Thursday at 4pm at Landon in anticipation of heavy rains Thursday and Friday that would likely leave Landon’s natural grass field unplayable.
Located in Washington D.C., St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.