By John Davis
Oxford Park Commission Community Relations Director
It didn’t take Henry Artica very long to praise his teammates for the way they played in their championship match.
The Oxford Park Commission’s adult soccer season concluded last week with a victory for Paris Saint-Germain, the team Artica serves as captain. For the former soccer standout at Oxford High School, it was the third time in five seasons playing with OPC that he was able to end the year as a champion. The key to winning the most recent title was to pass the ball and play together.
“We passed the ball. We never gave up and just never gave up,” Artica said about the 5-2 victory over Barefoot Lawns. “We did our job. We have several guys who are unselfish. Nobody cared who scored the goals. We tried to do better every game, passing the ball, and we did our best tonight. I could say that it was our best game.”
Artica, who helped lead the Chargers to a state title in 2013, added everyone remained calm even if a pass or shot didn’t go as planned. Coming into the matchup, Artica made sure to stress how good Barefoot had been during the regular season.
“They beat the best team during the year and we didn’t play them yet, so we knew it would be tough,” Artica said. “We knew who their key player was. We marked him and we did our job. It was also good for us to get some early goals. That gave us confidence. We knew we could do better, so we kept doing it.”
The weather was a little chilly during games, but Artica said it was a good season overall. The plan after the title win was to spend additional time with the team over some food.
“We don’t know if we’re going to be a team next year or not,” Artica said. “We want to enjoy this. We lost in the semifinals last year, so we know what it feels like to not be the best team and not be the champions.”
Artica also praised the families and fans who attended the title game at FNC Park despite cold conditions.
“It means a lot to us for them to show up like they did. They’re showing love when they come out like they do,” Artica said.