When the Granbury Pirates were eliminated from the Class 4A soccer playoffs in the regional quarterfinals, Matt Rose thought he had played his final game for the school.
He was wrong.
Rose had one final game representing Granbury when he was chosen by coaches across the state to play in the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches All-Star Game in Temple recently.
Rose played on the North Team, which defeated the South 3-2. He was a defender.
“Oh my gosh, it was such an awesome experience,” said Rose. “It was such an honor to be selected for this.”
The North Team had five defenders.
“We thought we were going to be attacking a lot because we barely had anybody back there,” said Rose. “We ran a three-back system, and that took a little getting used.”
But Rose adjusted nicely. He held his opponent scoreless.
“That feels good to have done that,” he said.
The North took a 2-0 halftime lead, but the South closed to within 2-1 15 minutes into the second half. A few minutes later, Aledo’s Hunter Owen assisted on the game-winning goal for a 3-1 advantage before the South scored again with four minutes left.
“It was definitely a tense game, and there were bragging rights,” said Rose. “It wasn’t like a playoff game, but the intensity was there, and so was the rivalry.
“Since the North girls had won 2-1, we really wanted the win also for the sweep.”
Rose said one of the most exciting parts of the game was playing alongside other great players.
“I was so anxious to get out there on the field and play with those guys,” he said. “There were some people we had played in the playoffs and predistrict, and it was great to play with them.”
One of those was Wichita Falls Rider’s Christian Okeke, who scored both goals for the Raiders in their 2-0 playoff win over Granbury.
“I was so glad to see him on our side,” said Rose with a chuckle.
Rose plans to attend Texas A&M in the fall and major in biology. He wants to be a pediatrician.
However, he also wants to continue playing soccer. A&M does not have a men’s NCAA team, but they have a club team.
“I’m going to try and get on the club team, and if that doesn’t work I’ll get on an intramural team,” Rose said.
“There’s always going to be a part of me that wants to play. I could possibly see coaching being down my path, even if it’s a kids rec team. Just being around the game is what matters.”
Rose helped the Pirates to a 20-4-5 record and a fourth-round playoff appearance, their best season in a decade and only the second time in their history to win 20 games. The previous time was in 1999 when they went 21-1 and won the 4A state championship.
The Pirates also won their fifth consecutive district championship.
Rose was a first-team All-District 15-4A selection his senior season, preceded by being second team as a junior and the Defensive Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore in 2011.
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