Magnolia Blue Eagles?Alumni Soccer ‘Kicking’ For Uganda
MHS graduates Phil Bowser, class of ’97, and Brendon Kacor, class of ’11, each scored a pair of goals, while Trevor Long, ’13, and Aaron Long, class of ’03, each found the back of the net to end the inaugural Alumni Co-Ed Soccer match in a 3-3 tie Aug. 10 at the New Martinsville Marina.
The alumni match reunited 26 former Blue Eagle soccer players – along with the first MHS Boys’ Head Coach, Ralph Strippel, ’95, and the first Girls’ Head Coach, Bruce Crawford, ’98, that also included around 30 soccer fans.
Ryan Ruth made an exceptional save between the nets on a shot by Patrick Shirak, while Eric Piekarski and Matthew Riggenbach each stopped apparent goals from Mike Warneke and Kari Wilson Haudenshilt, respectively.
On the other end of the field, Mike Winters slapped back a few shots, while Trevor Long just missed the game’s first goal when the ball bounced the wrong way off the cross-bar. Trevor Long was then turned away once more by Winters, while Ruth swatted away a shot from Jeremy Crawford and Amanda Long.
Besides all the heavy breathing from the older players, Rachel Ruth was the only casualty when she sprained her wrist trying to catch herself when she fell trying to make a play.
Soon after, Bowser drilled a shot by the out-stretched hands of Ryan Ruth for the game’s first goal off an assist by Kari Haudenshilt. Ryan Haudenshilt, Taylor Pavlik, and Brittany Leek each were turned away by Winters, while Riggenbach made a non-goalie save off shots by Bowser and Chase Croasmun.
Meanwhile, Paul Hommer was stripped of the ball by Kari Haudenshilt, but returned to form and made a nice pass to Kacor, who was repelled by the defensive unit of Crawford, Dallas Mullett, Croasmun and James Long.
The crowd pleaser was when Kari Haudenshilt stole the ball from her husband, Ryan.
Before the break, Amanda Long was turned away by Ryan Ruth and Kacor, while Mitchell Goodwin was knocked away by Winters with the game still knotted at one.
Bowser opened the second half with shot after shot, getting his third shot by the out-stretched hands of Aaron Long, who played the field in the first half and gave Ruth a breather in the second half. Again, Kari Haudenshilt got the assist on the goal.
Missing out on playing, Valerie Clark, Margeau Hafer and Jessica Hommer hooped and hollered for their former classmates to give it their all, and, of course, they did until the final whistle was sounded by referees Soren Shade and Oscar Celedon.
Magnolia graduates and their classes who attended the event were Trevor Long, 2013; Ryan Ruth, 1997; Mitchell Goodwin, 2012; Matt Riggenbach,1999; Taylor Pavlik, 2005; Ryan Haudenshilt, 2000; Jeremy White, 2005; Rachel Ruth, 2005; Brittany Leek, 2010; Paul Hommer, 2004; Brendon Kacor, 2011; Jessica Hommer, 2005; Dallas Mullett, 2012; Mike Warneke, 1997; Jeremy Crawford, 1998; Kari Wilson, 2000; James Long, 2003; Amanda Long, 2003; Chase Croasmun, 2012; Pat Shirak, 2002; Phil Bowser, 1997; Jordan Mullett, 2007; Valerie Clark, 1999; Margeau Hafer, 1998; Aaron Long, 2003; and Eric Piekarski, 2013.
High scorers of the game were Kacor and Bowser, with two goals each. Kari Haudenshilt served up a pair of assists.
The alumni match was the creation of Warneke, who founded the Field of Dreams in Uganda and dedicated funds raised from the event to buying soccer equipment for athletes of high school age.
Warneke plans to have another alumni match next year. Former MHS players who want to play next year, or make a donation, should call Warneke at 1-812-604-2458.