Strong defense keeps Atoms alive in tie game

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On Friday, the Atoms varsity soccer team held off the Herndon Hornets in a double overtime game that ended 0-0.

“I felt great and bad at the same time,” said senior goalie Rony Lopez. “Great, because I made a good save, but bad because the defense isn’t supposed to make mistakes like that.”

Lopez was responsible for a save in the last few seconds of the second overtime. If the goal had made it in, the Hornets would have taken home the win. “I guess I kind of saved the game,” added Lopez.

“I think we did okay,” said senior captain Goldy Berhane, “We did fine, but we still have things to improve on, like taking advantage of the opportunities to score.”

“Tonight defense played really well,” said Assistant Coach Stephen Howes. “And, yeah, we missed a couple of goal-scoring opportunities, but I think overall the game wasn’t great. We’re just trying to get ready for districts,” continued Howes. “We have one more season game against Madison High School, a non-district team, on Tuesday and we really need to just focus for our first district game against T.C.”

“I mean we did well, and I think we’re ready to win districts,” said junior Fred Nsiah.

Junior Menfil Almaraz had another take on the scoreless game. “I don’t think we played that awesome tonight, and we really need to pick it up if we want to win the district championship for Coach Eddie this season.”

Coach Eddie Latorre, who has been dedicated to coaching the soccer team for 19 years, is retiring after this season, and the boys are determined to win the district title not only for themselves, but for him.

“No more working at Annandale,” said Coach Eddie, “But I think I picked good players for varsity this year and I’m very happy with the team this season.”

The boys will continue to practice hard over the next week to get ready for their first district game on May 17 against T.C. Williams at home. Should they succeed and continue to play well throughout the tournament, they may be able to win districts for both themselves and Coach Eddie in his final season.