By MARC TOBIAS
ELIDA — For the second time in three years, the St. Marys
boys’ soccer team fell in a heartbreaking shootout loss
against Kenton in the Division II soccer tournament.
Tied 1-1 after regulation, both sides went through two scoreless
10-minute halves of overtime.
Kenton then converted all five of its penalty shots for a 5-3
shootout victory and will now move on to face Shawnee in the
semifinals of sectional play at Elida.
“We worked on pk’s on Saturday, because we knew
that it might come down to this and I’ll take my five
any day against most peoples’ five,” said Kenton
coach Jamie Bartlett. “He had a good five too, but we
just got lucky and made a save there.”
Kenton keeper Austin Heil made the crucial save on a Ty Widman
penalty kick, the Wildcats then made their next four shots to
end the game.
Roughriders keeper Luke Tompary got a piece of one of Kenton’s
penalty kicks but was unable to stop it. Kenton’s other
four kicks were near perfect not allowing Tompary a realistic
chance at a save.
“Luke Tompary did all he could on those pk’s, it’s
not his fault, we should never put him in that position,”
said St. Marys coach Dave Ring. “I just hate to lose this
way, I really do. It’s so hard, and having 12 seniors
just makes it that more rough. I wish Kenton good luck and they
get to move on, I don’t think they beat us but they get
to move on.”
Kenton took the regular season matchup between these two squads
1-0, and the rematch looked as if it was going to go St. Marys’
way early on.
The Roughriders dominated the first half of play, and despite
not scoring, they took a 1-0 lead on a Kenton own goal.
St. Mary’s Phil Axton applied pressure to Kenton’s
defense, forcing Wildcat halfback Brandon Oreglia to play a
ball with a lot of pace back to Heil who was standing around
eight yards off his line.
Heil got in front of the pass, but failed to trap the ball,
and then there was nothing he could do but watch it to roll
past him and in for a goal.
The Riders almost got another own goal for a 2-0 lead. An A.J.
Scarpella corner kick was headed in the box by Widman. A Kenton
player then tried to clear the loose ball but instead flicked
the ball backwards off the crossbar and out of bounds.
St. Marys also had one goal waived off after a player was whistled
Kenton then took over in the second half and controlled play.
The Wildcats outshot the Roughriders 13-2 in the final 40 minutes,
and if it were not for some spectacular saves by Tompary and
his defense, then it may have never gone to overtime.
The most dramatic save came when Tompary came off his line to
save a Jarrett Homan shot, but Homan came up with the ball on
the deflection and ripped a shot towards goal. Roughriders midfielder
Scott Howison was waiting on the goal line though, and made
a game-saving clearance.
Despite the 1-0 lead, St. Marys continued to push late in the
game for a second goal, and it resulted in a four-on-one counterattack
Howison then came up big again, by ending the attack with a
“good” foul, and thwarting what would’ve been
an excellent scoring chance. Unfortunately for St. Marys, Blake
Truman was able to drill the free kick into the lower left portion
of the net for the game tying goal.
“I think the wall was a little off the post and that gave
him (Truman) a little opening there, he’s been our free-kick
specialist all year and he probably has three or four goals
off set pieces,” Bartlett said. “If they give him
an opening, then he’s going to find it.”
“I think we got it (wall) where we wanted, I just don’t
think Luke was prepared, he was convinced it was probably going
short post, and it just caught him off guard,” Ring said.
“A little disappointed in that, because he’s taught
and knows he should protect that side, but it was great a great
St. Marys had the best opportunity to score in overtime, and
end things before the eventual penalty kicks. A Scarpella throw
in bounced into the middle of the Wildcats penalty area where
Ryan Peters got a solid shot off that caromed off the crossbar.
It was the Riders only shot in what was a defensive dominated
two halve of overtime.
The Roughriders end their season at 6-8-3.