Soccer squad falls in first round of playoffs
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 10:03am
The Outlaws took on a tough Delphian team on the turf at McMinnville High School on Saturday, October 28, and suffered a 2-1 loss.
The turf field and nerves were a factor, as both teams took a bit of time to settle into the game.
Delphian was a counter-attack type of team and had two very fast and dangerous strikers.
Coach Jeff Husmann said, “Their plan was to play out of the back and then try to engage us defending deep in their defensive third, and then play a big ball into their strikers.”
Senior Austin Dean had scouted the Dragons, and information he gathered helped the Outlaws’ defense to play a tough, smart game.
“They truly have been at the backbone of this team,” Husmann said. “We were finding space on the flanks and relative weaknesses in their outside backs. Our spine players were trying to expose these advantages, yet we couldn’t combine to find the goal. Speed of turf played a part as at times we just couldn’t catch up to the ball. This was the first time we’ve played on turf this season.”
Sisters got on the scoreboard first, when Jesse Polachek took a goal kick from the Outlaws’ goal and Vince Christian timed his run perfectly from the half. The Dragons’ keeper hesitated to come off his line and Christian placed it just over his head for the score.
The Outlaws were energized by the goal, but knew they were in for a tough battle. Sisters did have more chances in front of the goal but just couldn’t capitalize.
Husmann explained how the Dragons got their first goal.
“It came from a scrum in our box where we didn’t do a good job of clearing the ball,” he said. “The ball squeezed out and from about 20 yards out their striker ripped a nice shot. There was no chance of stopping it.”
At the half the score was even at 1-1.
Sisters came into the second half with energy, but got away from their game plan of playing tight in the midfield.
The momentum shifted when the Outlaws drew a foul in their box midway through the second half. As has been the norm, Vince Christian took the penalty kick. The Dragons’ keeper got his hands to it and made the save.
A short time later, the Outlaws fouled the Dragons just outside of the box — what Husmann characterized as a very soft and questionable foul considering how much the center official was letting things play.
Delphian took a set piece about 22 yards out, and their player hit a laser shot, which gave them the 2-1 advantage. The score held until the final whistle.
“In many close contests this year, we have found a way to get that goal that puts us back into the game,” said Husmann. “We couldn’t find that answer this time.”
Husmann added, “I love this group of boys, especially these seniors. They have been at the core, not only of the team this year, but in helping develop this program. It’s been an honor to be their coach.”