RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph boys soccer team recently played their annual “Senior Night” game, in which they honored their 18 seniors and their parents in a pre-game ceremony. Shortly after, the Rams made it a good night all around when they completed the game by earning a dramatic 1-0 double OT victory over Sparta.
“We have a very large group of seniors, they have all matured and grown into fine young men,” said coach George Mousis. “They always play hard and fight for each other, and they have done an outstanding job representing Randolph High School, and the Randolph Community.”
Every varsity sport at Randolph High School hosts a senior night, and the games have become a special event for the kids who are playing their final games as a Ram.
“Walking onto the field for our senior night was a really good feeling,” said Senior Captain Nick Panvini. “We were all pumped for the game and ready to play for our families who came out to watch us.”
Panvini also reflected on the impact RHS Soccer has had on him personally.
“The program has made a major impact on my play and love for the sport,” said Panvini. “Being able to spend so much time with the team has made these past few years better than I could’ve asked for.”
When the game started, the Rams traded chances with the Spartans, but the field was tilted slightly in Randolph’s favor. However, the first half ended 0-0. The second half would see more of the same, and ultimately the game would go into a second overtime session.
Panvini’s brother Mike then stepped up and put a stop to the game, knocking in the double OT winner off an assist from Shane Ebneth. It was a fitting end to the game, having two seniors combine to seal the win.
The determination displayed by the Rams in earning a win on this special night is a trait that coach Mousis imparts on all of his players.
“A lesson that I have learned during my time in the Randolph varsity soccer program has been determination,” said senior captain Cameron Rauchberg. “Having had two injuries as a varsity player, I have worked tirelessly to try and get back on the field. The determination I have gathered from these experiences have only furthered my drive and determination.”
Another soon to be graduated senior, Chris Ross, had some words about the importance of teamwork for those who will follow in their footsteps.
“Some advice I have for the younger players who are the future of RHS varsity soccer, is to play as a team,” said Ross. “Make sure everyone is on the same page, and play as one team, not as eleven individuals. That’s how you win games and enjoy playing the sport.”
When asked about favorite memories, it was not surprising that both Ross and Rauchberg cited the same game, the double OT, shootout victory over top ranked Delbarton in the Morris County Finals in 2016.
“The feeling of the night and the intensity was so great, and when we won we were all so happy and grateful to be a part of the team,” said Ross. To which Rauchberg added, “The joy I felt when Delbarton missed the decisive penalty kick is indescribable.”
Coach Mousis had some parting words of encouragement for his seniors as they prepare to move on to the next stage of their young lives, stating, “My message to them, is to stay humble and hungry, while always doing their best and never giving up.”