The primal beat of tribal drums set the pace of the urgent screaming of the 800-strong crowd in Greene Stadium at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. Park Pirates faced off against their arch-rivals last Sunday featuring both Lady’s and Men’s Soccer. Despite the losses suffered by the Pirates, Park students cheered until their throats were raw.
“It was exciting and intense,” said Reisha Fregoe, sophomore mathematics major. “I think they performed really well.”
Lady Pirates were in the lead through most of the second half, but a pair of late goals by the Cardinals toppled the Pirates.
“We just went down to their level,” said Ashley Maxwell, junior liberal studies major and Lady Pirates forward. “Everyone was really nervous in the locker room, and we just didn’t give it our everything.”
Dozens of Park students traveled to the away game, and enthusiasm didn’t seem dampened by the loss.
“I love the Painted Pirates,” said Chelsie Shepard, junior business major and Lady Pirates midfielder. “We just need to step in. We were waiting and they were cutting.”
The men’s face-off against the Cardinals started strong, with a goal almost immediately. However, the Pirates lost the lead by the thirteenth minute and never got it back.
“It just wasn’t us,” said Reece Harris, freshman athletic training major and goalkeeper. “It wasn’t our style at all. We pass, we work the ball, we work our talent. They [Jewell] just play fast. We don’t play with that kind of speed, so I think we should’ve slowed it down.”
The energy was palpable during the second half of the game as the fans on both sides cheered and jeered against each other. The Cardinal’s “USA! USA! USA!” chant riled up the Park students, who seemed to take it as a personal offense and responded with a chant calling the Jewell fans racist.
“We should just chant ‘THE REST OF THE WORLD! THE REST OF THE WORLD!’,” one student remarked.
The spirit bus back to Parkville was hushed. But even after watching two losses, students still expressed interest in another spirit bus to the next rivalry game.