The Union Spartans hosted the two-time defending state champions, the Bulldogs from Wallace-Rose Hill on Monday. In what has been called the biggest game of the season for the Spartans, they came out on top, 1-0.
Before the game started, head coach David Ameen encouraged the Spartans, telling the team to “leave it all on the field,” which is exactly what they did. The match went back and forth down the field and the intensity never settled. During the first half alone, Union had five good looks at goals, but none found the net.
The first half was plagued with injuries for the Spartan team, including goalie, Cesar Ocampo, who took a blow to the face. He would not reenter the game until the second half, but, Union was able to hold off the Bulldogs until the first half ended, and they entered halftime tied at 0.
Throughout the second half it seemed that neither team would score. It wasn’t until the 7:30 mark when the Spartans found their one and only goal of the night.
Irvin Ocampo scored the winning goal with an assist from Omar Martinez that stunned the Bulldogs.
As the clock ran down, the Union defense prevented Wallace from getting anywhere near the goal.
“This is the biggest win in Union soccer history. Wallace is back to back state champs and they brought the intensity,” Ameen said of the win.
“Everyone one of the guys stepped up tonight, playing through various injuries. After tonight, this should prove that we are the real deal are going to make a good run for the playoffs,” he said.
Irvin Ocampo commented on the game-changing goal. “Omar gave me a really good cross and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. This is this best feeling I’ve had in any soccer match I’ve played,” he said.
The Spartans continue to keep their optimism and hope for the playoffs in their future. They take on the Clinton Dark Horses at home for another tough match this Wednesday.