Cost of a game winning goal

Surgery required after game-winning goal for Gjekaj


Stacy Smale

The team gathers with Neo before their final game of the season.

Ethan Smale, Business Manager

It was a close match for the JV soccer team against Romeo. After coming off a close loss against this same team earlier in the season, they were determined to win this time around. With the clock running down in the second half, they managed to get the ball to the other side of the field and take a shot.

“GOALLLL.” It was a Chieftain score, and the team immediately began to celebrate. This celebration, however, was short-lived as the player that scored the goal, sophomore Neo Gjekaj, was screaming for a completely different reason.

“Neo’s leg looked turned out of place,” sophomore Gabriel Capelj said. “I didn’t really see how it looked from the sidelines.”

Neo Gjekaj’s x-ray

The Romeo goalie hit Gjekaj in the leg in a weird way after the ball was shot. The coach ran onto the field to check on him. The trainer ran onto the field shortly after the coach, and EMS was immediately called to come pick him up.

“It was stinging a lot where it got dislocated, and I was in shock,” Gjekaj said. “It was not hurting as bad as you would think.”

During all of this commotion, the scorer was too overwhelmed by what had happened to realize what he had just done.

“It took me a minute to realize I had scored,” Gjekaj said, “and I only found out when the coach came to me and told me a little bit after.”

With all the hard work paying off, the Chieftains had taken the lead against Romeo with the score being 3-2.

After EMS had arrived, Gjekaj was rushed off the field with time on the clock. The Chieftains did not want to lose this game.

Sophomore George Ackerly said he was thinking to himself, “I’m gonna get back at the kid who did it.”

This led to the start of play once again, but before they got back in play, the Chieftains huddled up and shouted for their injured teammate, “Neo on three, one two three, NEO.”

For the rest of the game, the Chieftains played hard defense against Romeo, not allowing a single goal into their net. This kept the final score at 3-2, making Gjekaj’s shot the winning goal of the game.

After the game was over, many players on the team wished Neo well through his surgery. The doctor had told him his ankle was dislocated and his leg was broken in two places. The surgery called for three screws into his ankle and he is required to wear a cast.

“I don’t regret it because it was a really good goal,” Gjekaj said, “and my mom recorded it, too.”