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Paideia suffers tough loss for season
by Matt Nascone
mnascone@neighbornewspapers.com
May 24, 2012 04:05 PM | 1138 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Paideia junior Eli Pinner, left, attacks senior Alex Kirsch as he controls the ball during a scrimmage.
Paideia junior Eli Pinner, left, attacks senior Alex Kirsch as he controls the ball during a scrimmage.
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The Paideia boys’ soccer team has made the Class A Final Four both seasons since the split from Class AA, but tough losses in penalty kicks have ended both of the previous two seasons.

Before 2011 Class AA and Class A had a combined playoff bracket.

Paideia coach Eric Thomas said his group of seniors has led the way for the team since arriving on campus four seasons ago.

“We had eight seniors who came into the program after I graduated 11 and they had to take roles in the team that normally freshmen don’t have to take,” Thomas said. “They have taken the team to the playoffs all four of their years. The last two years have been amazing.”

Thomas said this group has developed what he has taught them into something that makes success happen.

“We have a style based on possession and good defense,” Thomas said. “It has grown to where I can coach more minutia because these kids know the system. I can coach tiny little details rather than focus on fundamentals.”

Thomas said the past two years have been more fun than the first two with this group of seniors.

“They scraped together a win over Westminster to make the playoffs that first year, but they have actually won the region three years in a row,” Thomas said. “It has not been one guy at any time. They are all capable of making things happen.”

Before the Final Four, Robert Hines led the team with 13 goals and 11 assists. Gustavo Martinez has chipped in 12 goals and seven assists. Alex Kirsch had nine goals and six assists. Sam Tatum had eight goals and five assists. Malcolm Singleton contributed seven goals and two assists. Angel Salome had four goals and seven assists.

Hines led the way in the Pythons’ 5-1 win over Hebron Christian in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Martinez had three goals in a 6-1 win over Mt. Paran in the second round.

Thomas said an aspect that has contributed to his team’s success is the camaraderie off the field. The team works well together on the field, but he said they get along off the field as well.
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