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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation December 17, 2017

10/24/2017 1:11:00 PM
Boys soccer finishes second in league
Asher Bachtold moves the ball upfield versus Junction City. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Asher Bachtold moves the ball upfield versus Junction City. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Rongi Yost

The Outlaws started their week with a 1-1 tie against Elmira on Tuesday, October 17, and two days later fell 3-2 to Junction City (JC) at home in Sisters in the final league game of the season. Sisters finished league in second place; the first time in nine years they haven't claimed the title.

On Tuesday, the Falcons jumped out early and scored from the right side on a slotted through-ball just three minutes into the contest, and at the half held a 1-0 advantage.

In the 63rd minute, Colby Simeral scored an amazing shot from the center circle near the half. Colby buried the ball into the upper-left V past a very confused keeper and got the neutralizing shot.

Simeral said, "I was feeling good, and felt I could make the shot so I took it. It was probably 40 yards out, and one of the best goals of my high school career. When it went in, it was just amazing. Their (Elmira's) crowd was just shocked, and they went completely silent. They couldn't believe it went in."

The Outlaws went for another goal, but Elmira held their ground and the game ended it a 1-1 tie.

Coach Rob Jensen said, "It was a well-fought game all around, with a lot of hustle."

Two days later, Sisters was bested by the visiting Tigers. Junction City scored two goals in the first half, and held the Outlaws scoreless.

In the 65th minute, Ultra Nilrattanothai scored on a breakaway, and cut the Tiger lead to one. The Outlaws were glad to have Ultra back, as he's been out over three weeks due to a concussion.

The Tigers went up 3-1 with five minutes left on the clock. Asher Bachtold scored with less than a minute left in the game on a cross that sailed past the Tiger's keeper and closed the gap to one. Unfortunately, time ran out and Sisters suffered the loss.

Sisters was very happy to have all their players back for their final game. They've been plagued with injuries throughout the season, and this marked the first time in over a month the entire team was healthy and able to play.

Prior to the contest, seniors Gabe Patton and David Perez-Sanchez were honored.

Jensen said, "Gabe and David have been warriors for me. They are selfless humans who care more about the team than themselves. They have really stuck together and battled through adversity. They've had four years of not having grade-level peers in the program, so I am really proud of them for sticking it out. This is also their first big year of varsity soccer after being leaders on the JV team last year. (Jensen noted the Outlaws were senior-laden at their positions last year.) I am proud of their positive attitudes throughout, and really love them as people."

Jensen commented on the loss to the Tigers, and their plans as they prepare for their upcoming play-in game.

"This game was a wake-up," said Jensen. "We have been having some overly medium practice sessions on all ends, players and coaches, and we need to get into the playoff mindset. JC did a great job of exploiting our lack of preparation and energy. They jumped out on us, and really out-worked us for the first 30 minutes of the game. The boys woke up in the second half, but we don't have the firepower to come back from two goals down easily. Yet, chemistry should come this week. We are going to work primarily on defense and game situation this week in preparation for playoffs. We plan on increasing urgency and pressure throughout our training sessions."

The Outlaws will play in a play-in game on Saturday, October 29.

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