Trojans honor player’s memory with win

Bandys defeated Maiden on the soccer field Wednesday, and in the process, honored one of coach Mark Simmons’ former players.

The Trojans’ 4-1 win comes six years to do the day that Simmons lost Michael Rabb toa battle with leukemia.

“I told the guys about Michael,” Simmons said. “He was very special to me. It gave the guys some extra motivation. They played for him tonight.”

Inspired by their coaches story, the Trojans (4-4-1, 4-1-0) scored two goals in the first half to take a 2-0 lead.

Morrissey Muniz scored in the 23rd minute on an assist from Ryan Eades, followed by a last-second goal by Bobby Wicks in the 39th minute.

The third goal by the Trojans was by far the most impressive.

Six minutes into the second half, Caleb Upchurch found Mario Ramirez on a shot across the front of the net. Ramirez headed the ball into the net, extending the Trojan lead to 3-0.

“Something we stress on our team is acknowledging the pass,” Simmons said. “We’ve been working on finishing in a crowd, moving up to meet the ball and heading it in the goal. Mario was in the right place. He made a great play and put it in the back of the net. It was a really nice soccer play.”

Two minutes later, Eades added the fourth and final Trojan score on an assist from Alex Martinez.

Maiden (3-7-1, 2-4-0) ended the shutout in the 54th minute, when Jimmy Yang connected on a goal for the Blue Devils.

“Maiden played hard,” Simmons said. “They have a very good team. They are definitely going to be an up-and-coming force in the months to come. I think we’re very fortunate to come in and walk out with a win.”
The Trojans shift their attention to a important game Thursday against Newton-Conover, the No. 5 team in the 2A.

“Newton-Conover is a very good team,” Simmons said. “They are well-coached. They are well-disciplined. They have many outstanding players. We are going to have to play smart, disciplined soccer to stay with them. Hopefully, we can give them a good match. We just want to be competitive.”