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College Prep Women's Soccer Defeats Head Royce 3-0: What Even is a Jayhawk?

Jayhawk (noun): The mascot for the University of Kansas and Head Royce. This make-believe mascot was created because the people of Kansas couldn't think of anything else. Then Head Royce copied it because they too had nothing better. - Urban Dictionary.

My teachers have always told me to never start an essay with a dictionary definition. Sorry guys.

Last week, my path to discover what a Jayhawk truly was brought me right to their doorstep, for nothing less than a soccer match. It was the much anticipated College Prep vs Head Royce women's varsity match, and I saw it as the perfect opportunity for me to answer my question.

College Prep had started off their season scorching hot, and through their first six games, they outscored their opponents 55-0. For the statheads out there, that's a whopping +55-point differential. However, they were entering this match coming off a tough loss to International, which set their record at 6-1. Likewise, Head Royce had also started off their season strong, and despite playing a harder schedule, they came into the match undefeated, with a record of 5-0-3. Notably, one of their draws was with International, the team Prep had lost to. Last year, Prep was unable to defeat Head Royce, losing one of their games, and drawing the other.

The match started off slow, and while both teams threatened to put the ball in the net, the first half came and went with the score remaining 0-0. As the second half began, I could feel the intensity growing, and more and more fans got up from their seats. Eight minutes into the second half, Prep got their first real break, when freshman center-back Anika Sherer dropped a perfect through ball to Maia Beltran. Maia raced Head Royce’s keeper to the ball and beat her by a step, sneaking the ball past her for a spectacular goal. Prep’s sideline exploded, and chants of “You can’t stop us” rang out from the raucous student section. Play then slowed for a while, and Prep’s goalie Kate Szurley made a few nice saves, keeping Prep in the lead heading into the match’s final minutes.

Towards the end of the match, the referees began making heinous calls for Had Royce, in an attempt to get them back into the game, once again bringing into question the school’s inflated athletics budget. Fortunately, Prep had no issue dealing with their opponent’s two extra players. The calls only served to fuel Prep’s intensity, and they went even harder. In the 80th minute of the match, junior Mari Green laced a shot into the back of the net (assisted by Maia Beltran), adding a cushion to the cougars’ lead.

But Prep did not stop there, as in the fourth minute of stoppage time, sophomore Nadia Young scored a goal, assisted by Lilah Durney, pushing the score to 3-0. Prep seemed to be following the age-old sports adage “Keep scoring until they tell you to stop, and then score again.” In the match’s final seconds, unable to accept their imminent loss, a Head Royce player began tugging on Nadia’s jersey, eliciting ear-piercing jeers from her brother in the stands.

Throughout the entire second half, Head Royce only managed three shots on goal, which coincidentally equals the number of near accidents I witnessed in their horrible parking lot following the game. Much like their lot, Head Royce’s offense seemed to be working in too cramped a space to be efficient. On the contrary, College Prep’s offense functioned around long through balls from their defenders and midfielders that hit their strikers in stride, providing them with opportunities to make plays.

As the sun set on the field, and on Head Royce’s hopes of retaining their soccer supremacy, College Prep went home feeling victorious, which has begun to be a regular feeling. The Jayhawks, on the other hand, were hanging their heads in shame.

As I drove home, I returned to my original question, the question I am certain led you to click on this article in the first place: What even is a Jayhawk?

Jayhawk (noun): A fake animal used as the mascot for the University of Kansas, and a little private school in the Bay Area that consistently gets dominated by College Prep.

Until next time,

Avi Paulson.


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