Last Saturday night Taylor men's soccer (6-9-3) lost on their senior night 2-0 against Huntington (12-4-2).
Taylor said goodbye to five seniors; goalkeeper Luke Williams, forward Josiah Wieland, midfielder Peter Linn, defender Mikey Maloney and midfielder Keaton Clay.
Huntington, who is receiving votes in the NAIA coaches poll, gave the Trojans a difficult time, especially in the second half.
“Huntington is a really good team. They have a good bunch of guys who work really hard together and have gotten much better in the past three years,” said Head Coach Gary Ross.
Huntington is currently second in the Crossroads League behind Spring Arbor.
The Trojans, who had been rising up to challenges, hoped to claim victory and garner momentum from their senior night.
“Earlier in the year, we tied the number four team in the nation at their place,” Ross said. “Then in league play, we beat a receiving votes team Grace at home on Homecoming. These solid performances from our squad gave us reason to believe.”
The first half ended with neither team scoring and the momentum up for grabs on either team.
Perched in the visitors section of the stands at Turner Stadium, there were two members of Trojans 12th man that set the tempo for the fans. Junior Nathan Sahly and sophomore Noah Michel stood shirtless with Keaton Clay’s name painted on their chests.
The two felt confident in the ability of their team to finish strong in the second half.
“We had a good start to the game, we had some great vocal leadership from our seniors, they’re gonna take it home,” Sahly said during the halftime break.
However, coming back from the break Huntington was able to take 14 shots on goal, continuously putting pressure on Williams, who finished with eight saves.
The biggest advantage was the seven corners Huntington took compared to the Trojans’ two, which resulted in more scoring opportunities for the visiting team.
With 29 minutes left in the second half, Jake Erlandson of Huntingon headed in the first goal of the game off of a corner, and proceeded to blow a kiss to the Taylor fans. Ben Arnold scored the second goal of the game for Huntington with less than 13 minutes to play.
The Trojans never gave up. With one minute remaining the Trojans got two shots off, one that went high and another that was beautifully set up by Wieland to Clay and nearly went in only to be deflected off of the post.
The senior class compiled 24 wins during their time at Taylor, and were an integral part of Trojan soccer for the last few years.
Wieland played in 69 games for Taylor scoring 15 goals and assisting on four. Williams played in 54 games for Taylor with 11 shutouts and a career save rate of 74.6%. Linn, a midfielder, played in 64 games for Taylor scoring three goals and assisting on two. Maloney played in 57 games for Taylor scoring two goals and assisting on three as a member of the defense. Clay played in 21 games assisting on 1 goal.
The Trojans will start the Crossroads League Tournament against Spring Arbor on Nov. 2nd.