On Monday, April 25, seven of Leesville’s most accomplished women’s soccer players stepped onto the field at Marshall L. Hamilton Stadium for the last time. In their final home game of the regular season, the Pride defeated Wakefield 2-1 in overtime.
Kelsey Weiss, senior, felt that Senior Night gave her the opportunity to end her high-school career on a high note. “Winning on Senior Night was a big deal,” said Weiss. “Having one last ‘hurrah’ on our home field was truly special to all of us.”
Rachel Hunter, fellow senior and teammate of Weiss, agreed that Senior Night was an incredible moment for her and the other graduating players. “The sense of family and togetherness we all felt- it’s hard to describe. After all the hard work and time we’ve put into this team, these girls deserve a night of recognition,” said Hunter.
Going into that Monday night on April 25, Leesville was first in the Cap-8 Conference and looked to hold off Wakefield for the second time this season. Even after dominating most of the game, the Pride had failed to put the Wolverines away as regular time expired and approached overtime in a 1-1 draw.
Weiss described the team’s mood entering overtime as “nervous, yet optimistic.” Weiss said, “In the end, we knew everything would come down to heart, just like always.”
Not even five minutes into overtime, Caroline Gentry, junior, managed to slide the ball past the Wakefield goalie and in doing so, claim victory for Leesville.
Hunter, while thrilled to have won at home one last time, knew that a “W” on Senior Night could only be bittersweet. Hunter said, “[Senior Night] was kind of the icing on the cake for me. Still, no matter how great the night was, everything was a little sad because these past four years are finally coming to a close.”
Coach Paul Dinkenor, who has been with this year’s seniors from the time they were freshmen, knew he had a one-of-a-kind group from the start of this season.
“Of course we will miss their smiles, sense of humor, and good sportsmanship, but most of all, I will always remember their passion to play and compete,” said Dinkenor. “They’re all great kids, and I can only wish them all the best in the future.”