Wilson boys soccer forward midfielder Eddie Thurston admits he would rather not be scoring goals. But he scored another one yesterday as the Tigers defeated host Theodore Roosevelt, 3-0, in a D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association game that was a rematch of last year's league final.
Thurston has three goals in the past two games and had a team-high 19 last season. But he said he prefers playing fullback, the position he plays for club team Gunston Team America and is being recruited by colleges to play.
"I will play wherever [Wilson Coach Francis Ryan] wants me to, but really I am a fullback," Thurston said. "That is my natural position. It is fun in high school to go forward and get some glory by scoring goals, but my love is stopping people on defense."
Ryan said he has used Thurston as a sweeper, midfielder, forward midfielder and striker this season because of Thurston's skills and knowledge of the game. And in truth, Wilson (7-6-1, 7-0 DCIAA) does not need much help on defense. It has yet to give up a goal against DCIAA opponents this season--a span of 560 minutes--and has shut out Roosevelt (4-2-1, 4-2-1) in each of the past three meetings, including a 5-0 victory in the DCIAA final last season and a 2-0 victory last month.
"We want to keep the scoreless streak going," Wilson captain and sweeper Eric Lehrman said. "I know Eddie is outstanding on defense with his club, but basically he dominates wherever he is on the field."
Yesterday, Thurston and junior Amir Lowery (one goal) controlled the center of the midfield and also scored first-half goals. Lowery scored on a 35-yard free kick midway through the half to give Wilson a 1-0 lead. Thurston drew a penalty and then scored seconds before halftime after he was taken down in the penalty area by Rough Riders goalkeeper Joshua Omido.
Roosevelt sophomore Austin Young came closest to breaking the scoreless streak midway through the second half when he took a pass on a breakaway from freshman Aklilu Mekonnen and drove his low shot off the right post.
The Tigers have won five consecutive DCIAA titles. Along with Bell Multicultural, which won titles from 1990 through 1993, they are the only schools to win the DCIAA title since 1989.
One reason for their success is that they are accustomed to a higher level of play. Wilson prepared for DCIAA play with games against No. 2 Sidwell Friends (a 2-0 loss), No. 5 Gonzaga (a 6-2 loss) and defending Interstate Athletic Conference champion St. Albans (a 2-1 loss).
Thurston believes the Tigers will win the conference again this season.
"We have played some of the good private schools and we are ready for all the DCIAA teams," he said. "We expect to win every conference game."