WAYNESVILLE – No. 3 Tippecanoe ended the Wilmington High School boys soccer season Saturday night with a 2-1 win in a Div. II Southwest District championship match at Waynesville High School.
“I have to give Tippecanoe a lot of credit,” said Wilmington head coach Imad El-Macharrafie. “They are a good team and this is the second or third time that they have went to districts.”
The Red Devils got off to a fast start with a goal from Caiden Smith just three minutes into the game.
It wasn’t until the 30th minute that the Hurricane was able to recover. After a deflected shot by Sam Spirk, Brady Vilvens was able to recover the ball and score, drawing Wilmington even with Tippecanoe 1-1.
The game was fairly neutral during the second half with both team going back and forth. In the 59th minute, the Red Devils were given their opportunity to score and it was the one opportunity they needed. With a goal from Andrew DeBrosse, Tippecanoe once again led by a goal with only 20 minutes left in regulation.
“Unfortunately, it is like a lot of other goals that we have given up this year. There was a lot of scramble on the goal and many people touched it, unfortunately the last touch was theirs,” El-Macharrafie said.
The Hurricane fought hard for the remainder of the half but couldn’t manage to find the back of the net.
A one-goal difference doesn’t do the Hurricane effort justice as they were a No. 8 seed competing against a No. 1 seed for the district title. The boys team made history this year as they have made it farther than any other WHS boys soccer team.
“I’m very proud of the seniors and I wish the guys the best of luck. I think they are going on to higher callings right now. They are going to do the game of soccer a lot of justice as they move onto the college level,” said El-Macharrafie.
The WHS coach reflected on the most successful season in WHS boys soccer history.
“I think the most important thing after this season is the seniors they may not realize what they have done but the seniors have really brought along the under classmen,” El-Macharrafie said. “We started three or four freshmen almost every game and I think they propped them up in a really good way, character-wise and performance which is going to help us next year. The people that played around Seth (Gundlach), Sam (Spirk), Adao (Russo), Nate (Lakes) and Charly (Schumacher), they are right now 10 times better then when they started out. Those seniors took them under their wing and helped them become better players. So as a coach, I am going to miss them as players but I’m going to thank them a great deal for what they have done for the rest of the guys.”
Seth Murdock covers high school sports for the News Journal.