“We’re here all week!”
That’s the message sent by the Switzerland County Pacers after defeating Milan 1-0 in a shootout in the opening round of Class A Sectional #46 Tuesday in Osgood.
The Ohio River Valley Conference made its name as the league of ties this season.
Seven schools recorded 24 ties. So when all seven teams are paired in the sectional – what else would you expect?
Neither Switzerland County or Milan could win in 80 minutes of regulation time. Nor could they score in either of the two seven minute overtime periods.
It came down to a penalty kick shootout.
The Pacers had the best chance to score in regulation after a handball with 29:01 left in the first half but junior Sam White’s try was saved by Milan keeper Hunter Gray.
Defensive struggle saw the game knotted at intermission.
The Pacer attack was keyed by keeper Kyle Whitham’s long punts.
With 18:56 left in regulation, Sam White started experiencing cramps. He was able to come back in but went out for good with 5:22 left.
Coach Brian Grigsby managed his four substitutes.
In the first OT, Kenyon Bledsoe had the best shot at a goal on a crossing shot that was grabbed.
Milan’s Cooper Miles had his shot go off the post in the second overtime. The Pacers had a chance as freshman defender John Goldsberry worked the ball up field to Keegan Morris to not avail.
That set the stage for the penalty kick shootout. Five players from each team gathered at midfield to shoot
Milan got to shoot first and scored. Senior Keegan Morris answered for the Pacers.
Matthew Riehle’s shot was saved by a fired up Whitham but stayed even as Kaleb Harrell’s shot went wide.
Conner Miles’ shot went wide setting up Kenyon Bledsoe’s PK to put SC ahead 2-1.
After another Milan miss, the Pacer keeper went to the 12 yard mark and drilled home the game winner as he ran and jumped into the arms of Morris.
The Pacers advanced to yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) second semifinal game against Shawe. It will be the third meeting of the season. Shawe won the previous two (6-4 and 3-1).
The Hilltoppers defeated Rising Sun on penalty kicks.
The second game of the evening was fast paced and saw Shawe score two regulation goals on penalty kicks by Nick Weatherbee after a pair of Shiner handballs.(28:14 in the first half and 21:06 in the second half).
Rising Sun’s Matt Martini moved to the midfield from goalie in the sectional sporting a cast on his right hand. He drilled a direct kick from the center circle (45 yards) hard into goal to tie the game at 1-1 with 20 minutes remaining in the first half
Rising Sun dominated he attack to start the second half. Senior Jake Scott missed a minute into the second half.
Jacob Bovard had a shot just off the far post
Weatherbee put Shawe ahead with a penalty kick after another Shiner handball.
Bovard weaved his way through the defense to tie the game with 10:15 left.
The two teams had tied twice during the regular season and it was 2-2 after regulation. Neither scored in the two overtimes sending the match to penalty kicks.
Bovard’s penalty kick was stopped by keeper Joesph Lisle.
Martini took over in goal for Fran Cerecer for the shootout and stopped Weatherbee’s third attempt at a penalty kick.
Freshman Landon Cole’s shot was stopped setting up the go ahead PK by Grant Suggett.
Zac Brokaw scored which was answered by Shawe’s Irving Ramirez-Rios.
Martini tied shootout at 2-2 and Shawe’s Alex Morales missed.
Shiner Jaydin Parsons missed his shot after waiting for Lisle to finish a routine of kneeling and tapping each side of the goal and
Bryan Avalos made Shawe’s final shot to seal the win 3-2.
Jac-Cen-Del and Southwestern were set to play in Wednesday’s first game. Wednesday’s winners play for the sectional crown on Saturday at 2 p.m.