Boys soccer looks to beat Plano East after win over McKinney

Center-back+Cole+Newman%2C+No.+25%2C+looks+down+before+sending+the+ball+forward.+The+Eagles+were+tied+with+McKinney+High+for+third+place+in+district+standings%2C+but+beat+the+Lions+3-1.+

Tyler Parker

Center-back Cole Newman, No. 25, looks down before sending the ball forward. The Eagles were tied with McKinney High for third place in district standings, but beat the Lions 3-1.

Ana Arredondo and Ryan Stanley

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The second half of district play kicked off on Tuesday for the boy’s soccer team. The Eagles (4-2-2) secured a 3-1 win over the McKinney High Lions (3-5). The game was crucial as the Eagles, currently fourth, face a three way tie with Plano West and McKinney Boyd in the standings.

“The game against McKinney was a very important game,” center-back Cole Newman said. “It was a successful, and great way to kick off the second half of the season.”

After a disappointing loss to the Lions in their season opener, 2-0, the boy’s looked to rebound. From kickoff, it was evident the Eagles had control of the ball offensively. Their first goal came off a perfectly placed cross from Dunes Nielsen who found the feet of Nathan Smith for a tap-in.

Shortly after, junior midfielder Cooper Olson sent a long ball up the field, which was mishandled by McKinney’s keeper and senior forward C.J. Lucido kicked it in. Unfortunately, McKinney responded with a goal of their own late in the first half, resulting in 2-1 score at half.

Throughout the second half, Newman and senior Aidan Cady played strong defense to keep the Lions from scoring. Nielsen added another goal for Prosper as he and senior forward Jack Simonini combined for a beautiful 1-2 goal, leading to a final score of 3-1. The game ended on a tense note as the Lions kicked in cross after cross into the box. However, the Eagles defense stayed strong.

“We always watch film, so for the McKinney game we learned what we did good, and what we didn’t do so good,” Smith said. “Now each practice, each week, is based on what team we’re going to be playing the next day. We change our practices to learn how to defend set pieces, if it’s McKinney, or against Plano East this week, the speed and the pace up top, and just learning how to control our runners need to be assessed.”

Currently, the Eagles are locked in a three-way tie against Plano West (4-2-2) and McKinney Boyd (4-2-2) for second place. All three teams stand with 14 points.  Tonight’s opponent, Plano East (4-3-1) trails Prosper with a 1-point differentiation.

The Panthers are coming off a win against McKinney Boyd, 3-1. Previously, the Eagles tied with the Broncos. Prosper must beat all teams ranked below them in the standings to remain in playoff contention. Tonight’s game will prove essential for both the Eagles and the Panthers as they look to climb up in the table.