Congratulations to Josh Edmondson, Lowry Wilson and Luke Strebel who were named to the DII-AA All State Team by the Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association. Josh was also named team MVP by Father Ryan at the Athletics banquet. See the full list here of the All State Team.
Luke Strebel was also chosen for the TN All-Midstate Soccer First Team by the Tennessean. He was chosen as he helped Father Ryan post eight shutouts and scored the winning goal from 54 yards out in the Division II-AA final. Watch the video of the game winning goal here!
2013 State Champions
Father Ryan defender Luke Strebel was 54 yards away from Montgomery Bell Academy’s goal and 54.8 seconds away from penalty kicks.
He boomed a free kick in for the winning goal late in sudden death, giving the Fighting Irish the Division II-AA soccer title 2-1 over MBA on Thursday night.
It took 109 minutes of play for Father Ryan (13-4-3) to win its fifth state championship. The Fighting Irish are tied for the third-most titles.
Strebel’s kick bounced once through a swarm of players before slipping past Big Red goalkeeper Drew Benson.
“I wasn’t even expecting it,” Strebel said. “I just kind of served it in, hoping my guys get a head on it like they always do, and just put it right in. I still don’t know how it happened. I’m in shock.”
MBA’s last two games went into overtime.
The Big Red (14-1-1) was a man down after losing Henry Lynch to a red card with 2:09 left in sudden death. Lynch collided with the Ryan goalkeeper.
“It was one of those (plays) where time is running down, and you’re trying to hurry up to get the ball in,” Ryan coach Robin Dieterich said. “Everybody’s got tired legs, so you’re wondering, ‘OK, just give us a chance.’ I don’t know if anybody touched the ball or not, but on the wet surface it skipped in.”
Freshman Will Emerson’s header gave MBA a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute.
Ryan’s Lowry Wilson answered nine minutes later when he poked home a rebound to tie the score 1-1.
Neither team scored in 20 minutes of overtime or the first nine minutes of sudden death.
MBA, which was seeking its first state title, beat Ryan 2-0 earlier in the season. The Big Red fell to 3-14 in the state tournament.
“It was just a big long ball, and it misses everybody — missed the keeper and ends up in the back of the net, and that’s just the way it rolls,” Big Red coach Giles Cheevers said of Strebel’s goal. “It was one of those things when everybody is running in front of the keeper it just bounces, and ends up in the back of the net. Congratulations to Father Ryan. I’m proud of our season. We’ve been phenomenal all year, and had a great season.”
ESPN highlights Father Ryan soccer player in 'Top Ten Plays'
The team was in overtime during the state championship game when Luke Strebel kicked the ball 54 yards into the net.
The kick came after a full game, two overtime periods and then a five minute sudden death.
With less than one minute remaining, Strebel made his goal. The play was so epic that ESPN highlighted it during their "Top Ten Plays".
"Fire time I heard about it, I was like, ‘What is this?'" Strebel said of making the highlights.
He said that he gives all the props in the world to his team, who helped create chaos to distract the keeper.
"[The ball] just floated right over the top and there were heads going everywhere, and he couldn't tell if it was going to be deflected, and it the wet grass and skipped right in," Strebel explained.
The goal was just what Father Ryan needed to win the state championship.
"We had a special moment, our President, Mr. McEntire came over to me right before Luke's kick and said, ‘This one is going to go in." Took a brief moment and said a brief prayer, the Hail Mary, and as he kicked it, the ball went into the air and into the back of the net," said Pat Lawson, Father Ryan's athletic director.
He continued, "I grabbed my little boy and we ran out on the field to celebrate and congratulate the kids and the coaches, so it was an awesome atmosphere."
Both Father Ryan's men's and women's soccer teams won state titles in their divisions this year.