By Rongi Yost
Correspondent 

Outlaws claim conference title

 

Last updated 10/25/2022 at Noon



The boys soccer squad entered their final game of the season at home against Central Linn (CL) on Wednesday, October 19, with the conference title on the line. Sisters (No.2) and Central Linn (No.1) both entered the contest with one loss in league play. It was a fierce battle, but the Outlaws emerged on top in a final score of 2-1, and were crowned league champions.

Sisters took the field amid an energized crowd of supporters. During their warm-ups it was announced that the girls soccer team had beat Central Linn on the road to claim the league championship, which gave the boys team extra motivation to get the win.

Coach Jeff Husmann told The Nugget his boys were poised and positive coming into the match, and stated that all year they’ve stressed the importance of staying focused and confident.

In the opening minutes of the contest, the Outlaws were a bit flat and quickly found themselves defending. They survived the first 10 minutes and then settled in and took possession.

Central Linn had a target player up top who would often try to isolate the Outlaws’ defense by playing a direct ball over the top to him. The Outlaws recognized this early, but the Cobras managed to get the ball to him inside the box. Husmann told The Nugget the center of the Outlaw’s defense made a rare mistake and CL scored.

Husmann said, “We knew we had a game on our hands. What impressed me was how our boys didn’t panic. We knew we had advantages, particularly in our ability to control the midfield.”

The Outlaws’ defense was able to stifle the Cobras’ attack, and they began to create more offensive opportunities for themselves. Sisters had some very good looks and shots on goal, but just couldn’t find the net.

In the 27th minute the Outlaws scored. Aidan Eckert ripped a beautiful shot off a Tate Kaczmarek assist to make it even at 1-1. The energy and momentum were in the Outlaws’ favor and they stayed focused and kept the pressure on.

Sisters had more chances to score, but couldn’t convert. Husmann stated that Kaczmarek, Eckert, Vincent Christian, and Austin Dean are the core energizers of the team and they definitely showed it in this game.

At the half the score was deadlocked 1-1.

Sisters knew a tie would give the Cobras the league title, so they came into the second half with the same intensity and focus. For much of the second half, CL slid their most athletic player to defense. The Outlaws continued to play a balanced and unselfish game and again created chances, but couldn’t find the net. Central Linn’s goalkeeper looked rattled at times, but the Outlaws still couldn’t break the deadlock.

With 12 minutes left in the match, Baylor Dyer got his second yellow card on what Husmann called a “botched call.” That penalty resulted in the Outlaws playing the remainder of the game with just 10 players.

Husmann said, “We could have folded, and accepted the tie, but the grit and character of this team came through. We controlled this game, and to come out with anything less than a win would have been a disappointment.”

The crowd’s energy helped motivate the Outlaws and with just over four minutes left on the clock, Danny Benson somehow got a foot on the ball and poked it into the net off one of the Cobras’ defenders to go up 2-1. The Outlaws held on and finished with a dramatic win and the league title.

Husmann said, “I am so very proud of this team! We are excited for the playoffs and look forward to going as deep as we can.”

The Outlaws finished their regular season 8-1 in league and 9-5 overall. Playoff dates and times are yet to be determined.

 

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