King’s Academy, September 9, 2007 – The rhythmic drum beats and enthusiastic chants echoed throughout the athletic complex on Sunday, September 9, as the King’s Academy boys’ and girls’ soccer teams took on the Baptist School. The two home teams played valiantly in the school’s inaugural interscholastic competition, and supporters turned out in strong number to cheer on their classmates. Though the matches were competitive, King’s Academy fell short of victory: the boys lost 7-4, and the girls lost 5-1.
The King’s Academy boys came out strong in the first half and stayed on pace with the seasoned Baptist School players. Possession was balanced for the first several minutes, and King’s made a number of offensive drives that were ultimately foiled.
In the fifth minute, the Baptist School struck first. After goal keeper Jeris Abuhouran ’10 blocked a shot from the right, the Baptist School regained possession and knocked the ball into the left corner.
King’s Academy evened the score just two minutes later with a successful penalty kick from Bader Alesayi ’10. Play remained competitive for the rest of the 25-minute first half, and the teams went to the break tied at three.
The Baptist School’s experience shone through in the second half. Although possession remained evenly distributed, King’s Academy converted on fewer scoring opportunities than the visitors.
In the second frame, King’s Academy allowed four goals and scored just once. The Baptist School, with its strong performance, secured a 7-4 victory.
Though King’s Academy lost, it put forth a sturdy effort. Co-captain Abdulmalek Binshihon anchored the defense, and goals came from Alesayi (2), Binshihon and Ibrahim Abudawood ’10.
The girls’ team, playing on the adjacent field, started off strong after only a week of practice. Contrary to what the lopsided score might indicate, King’s Academy held its own throughout the game.
The Baptist School scored an early goal, which prompted KA to strengthen its defense. Leen Sinokrot ’10 performed forcefully at sweeper, protecting Tala Mohammad ’10 in goal and fortifying her fellow defenders.
Midfielders Layla Al-Naif ’11 and Hayat Abu Samra ’10 formed a powerful duo, igniting offensive drives and distributing the ball to their teammates. Late in the first half, forward Yasamin Taylor ’11 handled the ball on a breakaway and just missed on a scoring opportunity. The Baptist School scored again soon thereafter and took a 2-0 lead into half time.
King’s Academy regrouped and brought a fighting spirit into the second period. Led by midfielder Farah Hamati ’11 and forward Shirine Shoman ’10, the King’s offense made its presence known. The team’s hard work soon paid off. After being fouled in the box, Al-Naif was awarded a penalty kick. She lined up the shot and sent it past the keeper to bring the team within one goal of the lead.
The Baptist School quickly dashed the home team’s hopes, however, as it responded with two quick goals and assumed a comfortable 4-1 lead. King’s Academy continued to work hard, but its multiple shots on goal all narrowly missed their mark. The Baptist School scored once more and took home a 5-1 win.