They didn’t make it look easy, but men’s soccer scraped through one of the toughest weeks on any schedule going undefeated against two of the premier teams in the region.
First, on Friday September 19, the team faced an impressive Bella Vista side.
After a sloppy first half down by a goal, the Raiders bounced back with strong play in the second half.
As the Broncos kicked the ball out of play, senior Taylor Reveles ran over to take the corner kick. He sent it into the middle and all of a sudden a Bronco player controlled the ball with his arm in the box resulting in a Raider penalty.
Reveles slotted it home from twelve yards, leveling the scored at one apiece.
Immediately, the home squad picked up the pace of play. They were building up the attack which gave them plenty of chances.
With under a minute to go, sophomore Mac Harrington takes a shot on goal after he beats the defense. The shot was then blocked by the the Broncos goalkeeper and the ball came back out into play.
Senior Ahmadu Barrie, who was trailing, tapped the ball into the net giving the Raiders the lead. All of a sudden the Broncos found themselves trailing two goals to one in an instant classic.
“I just had chills and pure adrenaline. It was such a blur and a pandemonium,” said the striker.
Within seconds Barrie ran to the bench and took off his shirt in celebration.
After holding onto the win in the last minute, his teammates and fans picked him up to sing happy birthday to him.
On the following monday, the Raiders had a tough outing at Jesuit to face the declining Marauders.
In the first half, the Raiders held their ground against a what was supposed to be the superior opponent.
When the second half came along, the Raiders continued their form.
Senior Ryan Burns received the ball after a nice run down the line and crossed it into Barrie who struck his shot first time into the bottom left corner to give the Raiders a one goal lead against one of the top teams in the country.
“The greatest feeling in the world because the work and time we put in finally paid off,” said Barrie.
The Marauders came back with two straight goals from senior Evan Barrett. Just like that, the Raiders saw themselves down by a goal.
But they did not quit, they only played better.
Later in the second half, the Raiders, similarly to the Bella Vista game, won a corner. The ball was crossed into senior Tyler Reveles who got knocked down in the box. The ref ran over and granted the Raiders a penalty.
Tyler Reveles stepped up to the spot and placed the shot into the lower right corner to tie the game up.
“Well you know I just stayed composed and calm. I knew the whole time where i was going to slot it. To be honest I was a little nervous but in the end it was a great finish to the bottom right corner,” said Reveles
After several years of edging away at dethroning the kings of Sacramento soccer, the Raiders have pulled even and will look to improve upon their success in years to come.