After two years without high school soccer, the North Pole Patriots just felt good to get back on the field on Tuesday evening.
Even they would have to admit, though, the end result of their probably felt even better.
Oscar Queen earned a hat trick with three goals, Riley Walters picked up three assists, and the Patriots started the 2021 boys soccer season off with a convincing 5-1 win over Monroe Catholic at FYSA Wednesday evening.
“It was nice,” said North Pole head coach Damon Crutcher. “I think the boys were definitely chopping at the bit. I think you could see just how much in that match. There’s definitely some things to polish up but I’m happy we were able to get out here finally.”
As for Monroe, this is the first time in over 10 years the Rams have been able to field both a boys team and a girls team as opposed to co-ed, according to head coach John Mayer. The boys were forced to play without substitutes as a result, but Mayer said the kids were mostly just happy to be playing again.
“I think both teams played really well,” he said. “We had a really clean competition. I’m proud of our guys for playing with no subs. They played as hard as they could and I’m super proud of them. We’ll meet North Pole again.”
The Patriots got out to a blazing hot start, scoring two goals in the opening 10 minutes of play. Queen was responsible for the first goal which he picked up unassisted. Bryce Wyman gave the Pats their second goal of the evening thanks to Walters’ first assist to make it 2-0 North Pole quickly.
Blayne Jusczak gave the Patriots a 3-0 lead in the first half thanks to an assist by Walters before Monroe Catholic finally got on the board. The lone goal of the opening game of the year for the Rams was scored via penalty kick from freshman Billy Bast. North Pole carried a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
Queen was at it again in the second half when he picked up goal number two thanks to assist number three from Walters to increase the lead to three goals. Queen secured the hat trick with a late goal on an assist from Jusczak to give the game it’s final score.
North Pole is 1-0-0 and will play Lathrop in a friendly match on Friday while Monroe is 0-1-0 and played Eielson Wednesday afternoon in a game that ended after press time.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/Hpisani91.