The O'Neal Men's Soccer Team ends an historic season

The O'Neal Men's Soccer Team ended an historic season this Friday in the NCISAA 2A State Semi-Finals with a 4-1 loss against Fayetteville Academy.
The O'Neal Men's Soccer Team ended an historic season this Friday in the NCISAA 2A State Semi-Finals with a 4-1 loss against Fayetteville Academy.  Some of the team's most notable accomplishments this season include a 10 game winning streak at the end of the season, a regular season win against Fayetteville Academy for the first time in at least a decade, a #3 seed in the playoffs, and a home playoff win against Arendell Parrott Academy in the second round of the playoffs which led to a State Semi-Final appearance for the first time in at least 5 years.  However, O'Neal's greatest accomplishment this season was the way they came together as a team, never gave up on themselves or each other, and turned a losing season at 2-6-1 into the most successful soccer season O'Neal has seen in recent history, ending the season 12-7-1.
 
O'Neal went into Friday's game determined to repeat their performance against Fayetteville Academy last week and earn a spot in the State Championship, but it was not to be.  The game was 0-0 for the first 25 minutes of play.  Fayetteville Academy controlled the ball for most of this time, however O'Neal was able to counter several times and had some very close opportunities to score, including several corner kicks.  In the 26th minute of play, Bruno Lazaro scored Fayetteville Academy's first goal, and in the final minutes of the first half, Fayetteville scored another goal with a header off of a corner kick.  O'Neal came out of halftime determined to being the game back within reach, and in the 49th minute of play Rick Catania slotted an excellent shot right past Fayetteville's keeper, with an assist from Brian Subin, to make the score 2-1.  However in the 58th minute, Fayetteville was given a PK which was scored by Bruno Lazaro, and in the 70th minute, Fayetteville sealed their victory with a final, fourth goal.
 
Despite the loss, O'Neal is extremely happy with the way the 2013 season, and I could not be more proud of my players for all that they accomplished this year, despite the odds.  The future of soccer is bright at O'Neal, as we continue to strive to play "The Beautiful Game."
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The O’Neal School
3300 Airport Road
P.O. Box 290
Southern Pines, NC 28388-0290
910.692.6920