Boys soccer plays homecoming game

Seniors’ big night with goodbyes, team loses 2-3


Benjamin Swicionis ‘23 looks for a pass while opposing players close in (Ross/LION).

George Ross, Reporter

On Sept. 24, the LT boys soccer team faced Bloom Township High School in the annual homecoming game and senior night. Although they didn’t obtain the result they hoped for, this was still an exciting time, head coach Paul Labbato said. They only play one Friday night game per year, and twice on Bennett Field.

“I mean there is just a night atmosphere, we don’t usually play on Friday nights,” Labbato said. “We get that excitement that is generally given with a ‘Friday night under the lights’ game, which is very fun for the kids and coaches.”

In addition to the game occurring after the homecoming pep rally, the game had another importance. Senior night is a night that many seniors look forward to. It is where the seniors on the team get to play at Bennett Field for one last time in front of the LT crowd. The seniors’ parents attend to walk their kids down the field and take photos. 

There are 11 seniors on the team this year. One of the seniors is Benjamin Swicionis ‘23, who has played for the team his entire high school career.

“It means a lot that I’ve been playing since I was a freshman,” Swicionis said. “I’ve seen my older brother play on senior night, and it’s a special moment.”

The impact that these seniors have had on the team is apparent to Labbato, but this is nothing new to him, or the team, Labbato said.

“Most of the guys have put in four years of hard work and dedication through the summer and the fall,” Labbato said. “It’s always an impact [when they leave], but that’s the name of the game. When kids graduate, they hopefully have taught the younger kids what hard work and  dedication looks like.”

LT had several key injuries going into the game. One big injury was center back Collin Sullivan ‘24 with a foot injury, another was Ryan Wheeler ‘23, as well as Brian Salvino ‘23. In the first half of the game it remained scoreless until Bloom scored making it 0-1 in the closing minutes. 

“We had no chance to talk during halftime because of [the pictures], and before the game we were distracted [by the pep rally],” Labbato said. “It’s not really an excuse of why we didn’t come out and play well, though. That was a tough game and I like how we fought back, and made it interesting at the end.”

In the second half, Bloom scored two more goals, making the score 0-3. Bloom conceded a penalty shot to LT in which Swicionis scored to make the score 1-3. Not long after that goal Bloom gave up another penalty shot to LT where Swicionis scored again, with little time left, making the score 2-3. In a last ditch effort, LT just missed the equalizer in the final seconds ending the game in a 2-3 loss.

“I really wanted to win, I’m still happy with the way I played,” Swicionis said. “I was happy people came out and watched and I believe it was still a special senior night.”