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Raiders earn bragging rights over WL

September 21, 2011
Harrison ( West Lafayette ) High School

The annual September boys soccer match between Harrison and West Lafayette traditionally previewed a likely sectional rematch.

With the rivals now in separate state tournaments, Thursday night's regular-season meeting served as the teams' only source of bragging rights.

For the next year, the Raiders can claim superiority. Harrison handed former West Lafayette coach Bryan Clouse a 4-0 victory over his former team.

Harrison (6-4) snapped a three-game winless streak against West Lafayette. Last year’s regular-season draw was sandwiched between victories by the Red Devils (5-5-1) in the past two sectionals.

"It's nice to finally take it to them, and 4-0 is a nice score line," said Akis Lyrintzis, who scored Harrison's first and last goals on Thursday.

"Coach helped us a lot get pumped up for the game. Like, a lot. He really wanted this one and we just brought it because we wanted it too. It was effort more than anything that got us the win."

Clouse, a Harrison graduate, coached West Lafayette for 169 games over nine seasons. Thursday was his first game on the opposite sideline and the first against his friend and former assistant, new Red Devils coach Andrew Kiernan.

"That's my best friend over there, role model and what-not," said Kiernan, who spent two seasons as Clouse's junior varsity coach. "It was an emotional game for the players, the seniors, everyone involved. It's obviously a tough loss. They just capitalized on every single one of our mistakes."

Clouse said he didn't feel as much pressure as he expected for Thursday's match, but he stressed the importance of the lone meeting to his players.

"I told every single junior and sophomore that was stepping onto that field, 'It's 365 until you get the chance to redeem yourself,' " Clouse said. "'Do you want to go through the next 365 days thinking about a loss or a win?'"

Lyrintzis's goal in the 18th minute opened the scoring, and Alex Hoffman followed 10 minutes later with another Raiders goal. Nestor Sededji scored with 3:12 left in the half to give Harrison a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils did not put a shot on goal until early in the second half and managed just two for the game.

"We were expecting them to come out full-force," WL senior midfielder Walker Fiederlein said. "They weren't going to give anything to us and, sure enough, they didn't."

Harrison lost goalkeeper Jake Allrich on a collision with a West Lafayette player late in the first half. Clouse said after the game that the junior sustained a concussion.

The Raider defense played without senior captain Amir El-Khalili due to a leg injury. But the rest of the backs kept the pressure off of fill-in keepers Peter Konieczny and Zach Beeler.

"I couldn't have been happier with the way our defense played rotation-wise," Clouse said. "I felt like we did a great job of winning 50-50s tonight. That's going to win you a lot of ballgames."

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