The Pepsi-Co Showdown is the largest high school soccer tournament in the nation. The Tigers have been a part of the occasion for four years now with on and off success. On Thursday the 19th at Lincoln Way Central, taking on Kankakee, the squad was on.
The Tigers pressed hard from the opening kickoff forcing early mistakes of Kankakee’s back line. Early chances arose for the team, but putting the ball in the back of the net seemed to be a hardship early. Head Coach Alan High said, “We started to shake off the rust early after not having a fully healthy squad all year. But the opportunities in the second half showed the lethal scoring potential we have going forward.”
The score line stayed at zeros for seventy-six of the eighty minutes played, until the ball finally found pay dirt. Junior Bascom Jackson found a way to dribble through a crowd of three Kay defenders in the corner and put the ball across the face of goal to another Tiger who quickly found Junior Logan Lunsford to slot the ball through. Logan said, “It felt really good to get the goal. If it wasn’t for the pass from Doug, I probably wouldn’t have had the shot opportunity to get the chance of scoring.”
Minutes later the Tigers earned a penalty inside the box leading to another scoring chance. Sophomore Trey Schwarzkopf stepped up for the shot. The young sophomore was chosen by the tigers at the beginning of the year as the soul penalty shot taker due to his lethal consistency. He said, “It feels really good to be trusted as only a sophomore, especially for such an important thing.”
The Tigers will continue to compete in the showdown in the following days as they look to strengthen their record before the regional seeding heading into the post season.