Champs Again: Boy's Soccer Team Defeats News Hope Solebury in PIAA State Finals Game
By: Drew Huddleston
On Saturday, November 16th, the QV Boys Varsity Soccer team faced off against the New Hope Solebury Lions at Hershey field for the title of PIAA State Champions. After a tense 80 minutes, the Quakers emerged victorious, winning 2-1 against the Lions. It marked the climactic finale to QV’s epic season of 24 wins and 2 losses.
With the delay of the semi-final game to Wednesday, the Quakers had little turn-around before the state finals on Friday. This left limited time for team members to grow nervous about the game.
“We tried to treat it as a normal game, because if you amp it up too much then the nerves will get the best of you,” said junior Brody Jones, who started center-mid in Friday’s game.
The first half was a tense, scoreless battle between the Quakers and Lions. Both student sections stood with bated breath waiting for a goal from either team. Despite the Quakers being the favorite to win, the New Hope fought a fierce battle, applying incredible offensive pressure in the first half. Despite this, QV’s strong defense was able to ward off the numerous attacks from NHS.
“Us winning is a direct result of the offense, but we just try to do our job, hold off the other team until we can get ahead,” said Tommy Guild, who started on defense as the center-back for the Quakers.
However, there was one glimmer of hope in the first half. Starting forward Dominic Reiter scored a goal mid-way into the first half, only for the referees to call Reiter offsides. While the call was certainly discouraging for QV players, it only fueled them to play harder.
“That call especially kinda established we can score...even if it got called back,” remarked Jones about the call.
Entering the second half with no score, both teams were feeling the pressure. Finally, after 63 minutes, Senior Dominic Reiter, assisted by his brother Fritz Reiter, scored the first goal of the game, erupting Quaker’s supporters in ecstatic cheers.
“The last game I ever played with [Fritz] it was kind of nice to have him assist me for a goal,” said Dom about the first goal of the game.
“I think when the first goal went in, it was kind of ‘sigh of relief,’” Jones recalled about Dom’s goal. “But that was very brief, and then we all realized there are 15 minutes left, we have to keep giving it our all.
A mere six minutes later, Fritz, assisted by Dom, scored the game’s second goal, putting the Quaker’s up 2-0. Even with the momentum of two goals, the game wasn’t over, as Lions player Ben Koeppen scored New Hope’s first--and only--goal.
“...As soon as [New Hope Solebury] scored, we kind of knew that it was very possible for them to come back and get a last minute goal. So those were probably the most important five minutes of the game,” said Jones.
In the final seconds of the game, the Lions sent a deep cross towards the goal, only for it to land safely in the hands of the Quaker’s starting goalie: senior Reese Edwards. The final buzzer sounded, closing the curtains on one of the Quaker’s greatest seasons with triumph and joy. The overjoyed fans exploded with cheers and song, while the players embraced one another, jumping up and down and hollering in excitement.
“At the end of the day, though, what felt really good was lifting that trophy. The team accomplishments much outweigh the individual ones for sure,” said Dom.
The season marked the 9th WPIAL win and 8th state win for the Quakers, with the last win just two years ago.
“A lot of us were kinda just bystanders for [the 2017 PIAA state finals game]. We felt that sense of winning the championship, but it’s nothing compared to being on the field and starting and getting that final trophy,” said Jones.
“It was just the perfect way to end the season,” said Guild.