MASON – Nick Binder and the Mason boys soccer team kept waiting for some bounces to go their way.
It never quite happened for the defending Division 2 state champions.
A tough-luck season came to a halt Monday for Mason, which suffered a 1-0 setback to Chelsea in a Division 2 district opener.
Mason had its scoring chances, including one in front of the goal in the final minute. But just as its season has gone, the bounces didn’t go in their favor in a fall that ended with a 9-8-4 record.
“They’re not used to being on the end of the results we were sometimes this year,” Binder said. “For the most part, we continued to show up and train and prepare. I thought we were really, really well prepared for (this) game. Where the ball was the whole game showed it. We were prepared to create chances and we created a lot of chances. Unfortunately we didn’t finish any of them. That’s soccer. Soccer can be a cruel game.”
Binder thought the better opportunities for Mason came in the first half and said two chances stuck out to him. Chelsea stopped both of those and also capitalized on a Mason mistake in the first half.
Just under 10 minutes into the game, Mason misplayed a ball and had a defender slip. That left the door open for Chelsea, which converted the opportunity for what wound up being the game’s lone score.
“That was the theme of the season unfortunately for us,” Binder said. “You always try to tell your guys your chances are coming and bounces are going to come your way. They just didn’t, even (in this game).”
Mason loses three seniors to graduation from this year’s young squad. Binder hopes the sophomores and juniors that were relied on this fall will be motivated by this year.
“We didn’t have that bitter taste in our mouth at the end (last year) that can sometimes motivate you,” Binder said. “I don’t think we didn’t work hard because of that. Sometimes you just need that little extra and that being knocked down to build yourself back up.
“There were a lot of underclassmen on this team that were a part of last year and this year. I think hopefully it turns out to be a good mix, and that they’ve tasted success, they’ve tasted defeat. I think it’s pretty obvious which one tastes better and hopefully these guys can be motivated by this year and strive to work back to what they were (when we were state champs).”