Saints get senior day win

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ soccer team got a win on senior day Monday afternoon over Portsmouth Christian School.

On a day where the seniors on the team were honored at home, the Saints got a 4-0 shutout win. The win was the second in a row for the Saints and put them at 5-6-1 on the season, with only a couple of games left in the regular season.

“I am very proud of our team,” Saints coach Patrick Whelan said. “We have just won back to back games, and more importantly we played really well. Owen Firnstahl and Parker Bono have both scored buckets of goals in the last two games. Our defense has really locked it up, too. A shutout against Portsmouth Christian is no easy feat.”

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Senior day is always a bittersweet game. Seniors take the field at home for what is likely the last time of their high school career. The Saints have 10 seniors on the team this year.

“Senior day is definitely bittersweet,” Whelan said. “I thought our team played with an added desire today. Everyone was running a little bit harder; our touch was a little bit crisper. Ultimately, I thought the score reflected a dominant team performance. I have coached and taught most of these seniors since their time in middle school, and so for it to be one of the last home games really is bittersweet.”

Senior Owen Firnstahl led the way for the Saints with a hat trick.

NSA has two tough games to close out the regular season before postseason starts. They may be matched up with one of two teams, Cape Henry or Norfolk Academy, when Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools tournament play begins. Whelan said he just wants to see his team close out the regular season playing hard, and he knows that they will. It will be a tall task to defeat both teams, as they are among the top of TCIS teams. However, Whelan said, soccer boils down to 11-on-11, and anything can happen. Before NSA started the TCIS part of its schedule, Whelan knew it was going to take an abundance of effort to be successful.

“The TCIS is a very competitive conference. From top to bottom, it is really strong,” he said. “Not a single game in the TCIS is a cakewalk. If we fall asleep for a minute in one of our conference games, it will be an uphill contest. However, we have a team which is mentally and physically strong.”

NSA will finish the regular season against Norfolk Academy on Thursday.

NSA 4, Portsmouth Christian 0

NSA—Firnstahl 3, Jackson

NSA assists—Berner