Boys’ Soccer Win Against Saint Mary’s Sets the Tone for Playoffs


Sophia McKeown

Asher Schoepflin (12) kicks the ball downfield during a game. Schoepflin is the captain of this year’s boys’ soccer team.

Mady Caywood, Senior Reporter

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, the Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) boys’ soccer team played against their rival school, Saint Mary’s, in a captivating game. Every year, Manitou looks forward to playing Saint Mary’s in every sport and the games have always drawn a large crowd of students, parents and community members. Saint Mary’s and MSHS have gone head to head in almost every sport and the games are always exciting to watch and participate in. MSHS athletics is always super excited, and maybe a little bit anxious, when playing Saint Mary’s in sports because of their intense rivalry.

Senior captain Asher Schoepflin felt extremely confident going into the game, “We have a really great team this year, so I felt it would be kind of easy to defeat them,” said Schoepflin. The game started off strong for the Mustang’s, with high pressing and incredible defense. “We didn’t really train specifically for this particular game,” said Schoepflin, “Coach Mack usually just adjusts our tactics before different games.” That strategy has certainly worked for the MSHS boys’ soccer team, having a 9-4-1 record and making it to the state playoffs which will happen in the next few weeks.

Playing one of the last league games against one of MSHS’s biggest rivals made the outcome of the game even sweeter for the team. “It was a very significant win to our program as a whole,” said Seamus Lowe (12), who scored one of the five goals during the game and has been on varsity since freshman year. “It was a great accomplishment to be part of that success,” Lowe said. Going into playoffs off of a huge win against Manitou’s biggest rival really set the tone for the team’s mindset going into their next few games. “Coming off a 5-0 win really gave us momentum going into state playoffs,” said Lowe, “it was a great goal to make it to playoffs and we want to win at least one game.” The team’s effortless plays and moves contributed heavily to the score and the outcome of the game.

MSHS gained a few new players this season and also have had a lot of improvement from returning players. “Sean Lowe (10) is playing the best he’s ever played,” said Schoepflin, “he really allowed us to play the possession soccer we love to play. Porter Fredrickson (11) also has stepped up a lot this year and makes center-back easier to play by winning almost all aerial balls.” Fredrickson won player of the game on Tuesday for his hard work and for playing an amazing game.

The team gained quite a few key freshmen this season, all of whom had improved the teamwork and statistics overall. “Coming into high school soccer season, I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Lairden Rogge (9), a starter positioned at right-back, “I didn’t really know how to prepare for the season, so when hell week came, I really pushed myself.” The new freshmen that made the team this year have had the rivalry against Saint Mary’s ingrained in their brain such as forward Andrew Rhodes (9) who said, “Going into the game, I really just had the mentality that we had to win.”

With playoffs coming up in the next few weeks and the team losing a good deal of essential seniors, the team has to adjust for next season. “We have a lot of really valuable seniors this year,” said Brian Blake (11), a starting attacking-mid for the team, “It will be a huge loss, but Coach Mack and future captains will have to compromise to try and fill those gaps.” The MSHS team has one last season game before playoffs start next week. It is still being determined as to when the playoffs will be held and against whom. The MSHS boys’ team has moved up in their seed almost 10 places since last year and the team’s win against their biggest rival set the the team’s mindset going into playoffs. The Mustangs will charge forward with a clear mind and the confidence to do their best.