After a tough 3-1 loss from last year’s game, the pressure was on for this season’s rivalry game against the Denver East Angels.
The Thomas Jefferson High School boys’ soccer team once again faced their rival, Denver East High School, on Tuesday, September 20th, at Denver East. Nerves were high for this year’s game, since TJ has not taken the win against the Angels for the past few years. With the new coaching staff this year, TJ was looking to make improvements, giving them a better chance for this year’s game. Going into the game, Thomas Jefferson had a record of 3-4, while Denver East had a 6-0 record. Having the better record and home field advantage, East came out on top with a final score of 3-0.
Without the home field and having more than half the students, TJ started off with a disadvantage. The first goal of the game was scored by Denver East in the 26th minute, leaving the score at 1-0 at halftime; this left the opportunity for victory to either team. The Spartans were told to have a “zero-zero mentality,” meaning whether they are winning or losing they should have the mindset that the game could go either way. “If the team plays with a negative mentality it affects how they play; it’s like a disease that is contagious and will spread through the entire team,” explained assistant varsity coach, John Thompson. Approaching the end of the second half, East scored yet again in the 67th minute, giving them a 2-0 lead. Less than five minutes later, East scored for a third time, resulting in a final score of 3-0.
TJ showed lots of Spartan pride during the entire game, as they cheered on and encouraged their teammates. The game was very tense for many players, but in the end it only made the team closer. While the score did not reflect all of the Spartans’ hard work, they tried their best and hope the game will benefit them later in the season. “Although the score wasn’t everything we wanted, we played like we won and in the end that was all that mattered,” said senior Julio Munoz. The boys are looking to improve for next year’s rivalry rematch against Denver East.