Soccer drops nail-biter to Hickman in PKs


John Flanegin

[slideshow_deploy id=’265937′]It was heartbreak for the Boys soccer team (3-6) at Lemone Field on Sept. 16 after a 2-2 (0-3 penalty kicks) loss to crosstown rival HHS (6-3). The Kewpies snapped an eight-game losing streak over a span of nearly five years to the Bruins after the win.
The Bruins were locked in early, with the opening goal coming off a 30-yard screamer from junior forward Tarnue Tyler just 18 minutes in. It didn’t take long to find the back of the net again when junior midfielder Brett Bales cashed in a free kick from 25 yards extending the Bruins’ lead to 2-0 with 25 minutes past in the first half.
The team went into halftime confident and looked to add more goals to its already impressive margin.
“We wanted to bring the same intensity,” senior forward Joey Koetting said, “and play from the first half into the second.”
Seven minutes after halftime, RBHS had an unfortunate own goal when Bales attempted to clear a Hickman cross and deflected it into his own net. Senior goalkeeper Andy Imhoff was left frozen and watched the ball sail over his head for a Kewpie score, leaving HHS with only a one point deficit.
The Kewpies struck again and tied up the game with 11 minutes remaining in regulation when Samuel Hosmer-Quint slid the ball past Imhoff after receiving a penalty kick.
Junior defender Jonah Lage noticed a shift in momentum after HHS scored the equalizer.
“We started seeing HHS pick up their intensity and start to build up more confidence when they finally tied us,” Lage said, “The game got a little rougher and a bit sloppy in those dying moments.”
After regulation ended in a 2-2 stalemate, the game required two additional halves each ten minutes long. Both teams saw chances, but Imhoff and and Hickman goalie Jacob Gunn made pivotal saves coming down the stretch.
Koetting and the Bruins prepared for a penalty shootout, which put the teams’ winning ways in jeopardy.
“We felt that it was ours to win and that we needed to continue the winning tradition,” Koetting said, “I wouldn’t say we felt too under pressure, but there’s always that additional element when there’s a big crowd against your rivals.”
The shootout began with a Kewpie score and ended with a Bruins’ miss when Bales’ shot was returned by Gunn after a great diving save.
The Hickman crowd erupted as a wave of students began to swarm onto the pitch. The five year, eight game reign had ended, David had beaten Goliath.
“This was a big wake up call, and we have some things to work out as a team, we should use this defeat as a motivator. ” Lage said, “But I think I speak for both teams when I say we can’t wait to play them in round two.”