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Resilience key in East High School boys soccer clinching 1st ever trip to Missouri Class 3 state title

East High School Bears soccer team
Posted at 8:01 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 23:12:56-05

FENTON, Mo. — The pressure was on for Elias Pelico after receiving the nod Friday as starting goalie for the East High School Bears boys soccer team.

"It was crazy, I feel like I had a lot of pressure, like I had a big responsibility on my shoulders," Pelico said.

Pelico filled in for the Bears during the team's Missouri Class 3 semifinals match against the Glendale High School Falcons.

East's starting goalie, Shukuru Hassani, was a late scratch because of illness.

Despite the late call up, Pelico came through in the clutch for the Bears on several occasions in a shutout and 2-0 victory.

"I feel like I had a big impact, if I let those in, the whole game would've been different," he said.

Pelico's efforts weren't lost on his teammates or coaches.

"I'm so proud of him, he did great, he was the man of the match," said Esube Byoke, a left wing for the Bears, said.

But Pelico wasn't the only one who was resilient on Friday afternoon.

Going into halftime, the game had been a defensive battle with no goals.

Gerzo Guerrero, head coach for East, was proud with the way the team responded in the second half.

"The first half was kind of tight," Guerrero said. "But we figured it out in the second half, and once we scored the first one, everyone started to work harder."