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Cochrane Cobras fall 2-1 in high-school boys' soccer season-opener

“For the first game, yeah, we have things to work on, but I love the attitude. And they’re so easy to coach. They listen, respond, and are great boys to work with.”

The Cochrane Cobras kicked off the 2022 high-school boys’ soccer season on April 28, and while the squad wasn’t victorious, head coach Carolyn McLeod said there were many positives to take away from the opening match.

Taking to the pitch at Monklands Park in Airdrie, the Cobras fell 2-1 to the W.H. Croxford Cavaliers to begin the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA) campaign on a losing note.

“When you win a game, you walk away and don’t really think about it much,” McLeod said. “When you lose a game, you really have to self-reflect on everything that happened and what could have been done differently. You learn a lot more. There are definitely things we’ll work on next week and build as we go throughout the season.”

While Cochrane took an early lead off a goal from Grade 11 midfielder Clay Grattidge, the Cavaliers brought the score level with a well-taken free-kick shortly afterwards. The two teams went into the half-time break tied at 1-1.

Then, Croxford earned a penalty kick in the second half following a handball in the box from a Cobras defender. A Cavalier stepped forward and slotted the shot home to put the Airdrie team up 2-1.

According to McLeod, Cochrane’s forwards battled valiantly to find an equalizer, but were not able to do so in the remainder of the match.

“We tried desperately to get a goal back,” she said. “The boys stepped up and we had lots of chances, coming close. But we couldn’t find that final second goal.”

Despite the defeat, McLeod praised the positive attitudes shown by the Cobras afterwards, particularly captain Conor Rognvaldson, who led the team throughout the 90 minutes from his position in the center of midfield.

“He is just the most positive kid,” McLeod said. “He played in the holding mid position and kept the boys rallying. They didn’t get down on each other, the other team, or the ref. They were just such an amazing, positive group of boys who kept supporting each other the whole game."

“For the first game, yeah, we have things to work on, but I love the attitude. And they’re so easy to coach. They listen, respond, and are great boys to work with.”

The defeat against Cavaliers marked the Cobras boys’ soccer team’s first official match since the 2019 season, when the team went out in the semi-finals of the RVSA playoffs. The 2020 and 2021 boys' soccer seasons were both cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given everything the students have been through in the last few years amid the pandemic, McLeod said Cochrane High's soccer players were keen to put on their cleats, don their crimson-coloured kits, and return to the pitch.

“The boys were super pumped, even though they lost the game,” she said.

“It’s a lot of fun for them, and as an adult, parent, and coach, seeing kids have that love of sport – even being on the wrong side of the score sheet – speaks to how important it is for this to be back. Even though I was kind of disappointed with the score, I’m really proud and excited for the boys and the season to come.”

In other RVSA results on April 28, the Springbank Phoenix beat Bow Valley in emphatic fashion, downing the Bobcats 13-0 at the Springbank Park for all Seasons.

For a schedule of local high-school boys’ soccer, visit rvsa.rockyview.ab.ca. Games are typically held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 4:30 p.m.