NOBLE — Piedmont’s Thomas Spencer made the 5A All-State team for his offensive prowess, so it was only natural that he’d show it off in the game.
Spencer scored the West’s only goal in the first half and narrowly missed an equalizing goal in the second half of a 3-2 East victory Friday night in the Class 5A All-State soccer game at Noble Stadium.
“I’m out of shape, I can tell you that,” Spencer said afterwards. “If I were in better shape and ran a little bit more I feel like it would’ve been a different result. But I feel like I did all right.”
Spencer weaved in and out of East team defenders then broke free to sneak a shot just past the East keeper for his goal at the 15:56 mark of the first half.
“I really didn’t intend to shoot it,” Spencer said. “Then Connor (McGinnis of Heritage Hall) just said go ahead and have it. So I took it and it started bouncing and one thing led to another.”
Later, in the second half with the West trailing 3-2, Spencer broke into the clear in the box, but didn’t manage to get a shot off. Teammate Jake Loper, who also took part in the game, joked afterwards about the near miss.
“I already started to give him a hard time about it,” he said.
Loper played in the defensive backfield and didn’t factor in the scoring, but considered the game a success for him individually.
“I feel like I did all right. There were things I feel like I could have done better, of course,” he said. “Overall I feel like I did solid. I hate that we didn’t get the result we wanted, but in the end we just wanted to have fun.”
For Loper and Spencer, who were part of the first true senior class at Piedmont this season, Friday’s game was the culmination of impressive careers for each.
“It’s incredible really, I can’t believe it,” Loper said. “We started out as freshman in the first real season of soccer at Piedmont and to make it four years and end up being All-State is really incredible.”
Cardenas, Meier play for West team
With some of the top defenders from the west side of the state in front of her, Piedmont goalkeeper Kelsey Meier thought she might have a quiet first half of the girls 5A All-State game.
As it turned out, Meier saw more action than expected. She made three saves, including a diving stop for her final save of the night, before allowing one ball to find the back of the net in a 3-0 win by the East.
“I thought I did the best I could,” she said. “I thought it would go the other way, but it was still fun.”
Meier played just the first half, but enjoyed the All-State experience.
“I knew that the two best games of my high school season were against Heritage Hall and Deer Creek. So I knew I could play that well,” she said. “That’s all I wanted to do was to play as well as I did in those games.”
Meier’s teammate, Bianca Cardenas also started Friday’s game and came as close as any West team player to scoring a goal. Her cross glanced off the inside of the right post in the 21st minute.
“That was unlucky,” Cardenas said. “It hit the middle and then went out. I thought it was going in — I was so upset — but it was OK.”
Caitlin Lewis was on the West team’s roster, but did not take part in the game due to injury.