Boys soccer team snaps losing steak in dramatic fashion
Last updated 9/26/2023 at 10:29am
The boys soccer squad snapped their four-game losing streak with a dramatic game that ended in a 3-1 victory on the road at East Linn Christian Academy on Wednesday, September 20.
Sisters started the game with energy and focus, and hit the field ready to play. The Outlaws controlled play in the midfield and created several chances, but too often blasted their shots off target, and never really tested East Linn’s keeper.
East Linn’s plan was to counter-attack, and try to make big cross plays to catch the Outlaws’ backs out of position. For most of the game, Sisters was able to spoil those plans.
Midway through the first half, East Linn was given a set piece from about 30 yards out from the Outlaws’ goal. It was a well-played ball that found its way over the Outlaws’ defense and dropped to the feet of their striker, who slotted the ball into the net. The half ended with the Outlaws down 0-1.
Momentum and energy quickly shifted in the Outlaws favor at the start of the second half. At the four-minute mark a long ball was played into the mouth of their goal, and got knocked around and found its way to Cooper Merrill’s feet, who hit the half volley into the net and knotted up the game 1-1.
“Cooper’s a leader on this team and it’s great to see him get a goal,” said Coach Jeff Husmann. “He’s highly coachable and it was so nice to see him bring us level.”
Midway through the half, an Outlaws player was issued a red card and the team had to play with just 10 men for the last 20 minutes of the contest.
“We could have just packed up and been satisfied with a draw, but our boys were hungry,” said Husmann.
Vince Christian was finding space behind their last defender and was creating chances. Finally, in the 75th minute he lowered his shoulder, dribbled around the last defender, and drilled the ball into the net to make it a 2-1 Outlaw lead.
A couple of minutes later the Outlaws earned a penalty kick. Christian calmly and confidently placed it past the keeper to make it 3-1 as time expired on the clock.
“I’m so stoked for these boys,” said Husmann. “We needed this win and it helps send a message to the teams in our league that last year was no fluke.”
Husmann noted a couple of players who he felt really stepped up in the Outlaws’ win.
“Nick Palmer (sophomore) played a tough game, and continues to find his rhythm in the outside midfield,” said Husmann. “He is gaining fitness and is a tough-minded kid.”
“Andrew Islas (junior) really played an outstanding game,” added Husmann. “He is soft-spoken, but he is a gritty and crafty player. He played as a striker and was very active on and off the ball, and made runs to create space behind their defense. Fellow striker Danny Benson and he are really working hard to take ownership of their positions. We have high expectations for these guys and they all are stepping up.”