Packers left a good impression at state soccer tournament

Published 9:22 pm Monday, November 2, 2009

It probably stung a little bit for the Austin boys soccer team when it saw its season come crashing to a hault in a 2-1 loss to Simley Friday night in Roseville.

The Spartans struck in the final minute to put it to an end, and the field was littered with Packers falling to the ground and covering their faces in disbelief after the final buzzer sounded.

This group had nothing to be ashamed of.

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Not only did they make school history by reaching the state tournament for the first time, they put up a great fight when they got there. In fact, it was one of the more competitive and exciting events I’ve covered since coming to Austin just over two years ago — and I’m a basksetball fan.

The Packers showed a lot of determination as they had every reason to back down from the start. It was freezing with strong winds and pouring rains — some teams would blame the weather and pack it in. Simley was the No. 2 ranked team in the state — some teams would say, ‘at least we got here, but too bad we don’t have a chance’. Simley scored first on a penalty kick — some teams would let the call get to them and think the world is out to get them on the big stage.

But not this group. They endured a lot of adversity to fight back and tie the match up and put the Spartans on their heels. The final score shouldn’t hinder anything they accomplished.

But perhaps the best moment of the night came after the match, when a tournament official walked all the way across the empty, wet field.

He told Austin head coach Jens Levisen that he will remeber two things about his team — they competed hard and they did it with class.

It’s not a coincidence this team was senior heavy (14 in all) given their success. And they may have started a new trend for the Austin soccer team — winning the right way.

That’s something to be proud of.