Boys Varsity Soccer Lose in PKs
Eric Tumperi, Booster Club Contributor
March 18, 2012
Filed under Sports
On Friday, March 9th, the Boys Soccer team played its second game at Hallford Stadium, this time against region rival Cross Keys. Coach Altizer opened with the usual starting line-up of Mac Speed, Graham Godwin, Jason Barefoot and Michael Thibadeau across the backline – left to right. In the middle were Marshall Tumperi, John Speed, Wilson Witherspoon and Nick Oshinski. And, Jacob McAdoo and Willie Mosley up top. Once again, Coach Altizer deployed the tag team of Andrew Beck in the first half and Jackson Bailey in the second half.
As the game got underway, an early event was just a small amount of evidence that this game was not meant to be. With only five minutes gone, on a well-defended shot from the left side, a relatively weak shot slipped through Beck’s hands and Cross Keys had a 1-0 lead. However, as the game unfolded, it was apparent that Decatur had the upper hand in ball possession, commitment to winning 50/50 balls, tight defense, and a hunger for creating quality shots on goal. Plenty of time to get the goal back. The following sampling of quality shots were created by a combination of sure defense and superiority in the center of the park by John Speed, Jacob McAdoo and Wilson Witherspoon.
- At 31:18, John Speed crossed a great ball to Jacob McAdoo whose shot was just off frame (like 1 foot).
- At 30:40, Mac Speed took the ball into the offensive side of the field and crossed the ball to right mid Nick Oshinski, whose shot was wide of frame.
- At 28:40, Willie Mosley charged through the defense on a through ball, and the Cross Keys did a nice job of blocking the resulting shot off the endline for a Decatur corner kick. Wilson Witherspoon’s placement on the kick landed in the perfect spot for shot attempts by both Jacob McAdoo and Marshall Tumperi at short range – both thwarted by defenders and the keeper.
- At 27:30, using his speed, Willie Mosley tore through the central defense (again) of Cross Keys on a through ball, having a 1-on-1 with the Cross Keys keeper, Willie’s final touch was just a tad too far, and he and the keeper arrived at the ball at the same time and the resulting collision sent both players off of the field for the rest of the game. Though the team continued to create and play well, losing the potent weapon of Willie’s speed and aggressiveness was sorely missed. Through the rest of the game, Djiby Sy and Wali Haji filled in for Willie up top.
- At 19:27, on another Wilson Witherspoon corner kick, Jason Barefoot used his size to deliver a quality header that was defended out of the goal mouth by a defender.
- At 17:20, John Speed fed a nice ball to a slicing Nick Oshinski in front of the Cross Keys center back, settled the ball nicely to Jacob McAdoo who cleanly drove the ball into the back of the net for an apparent tie 1-1.
- BAD CALL #1 (yes, there are more, sadly): The referee closest to the play called the goal and pointed to the center of the field to resume play. The only other referee was more than 50 yards away and ran to the scene and changed the call to a foul on Nick Oshinski. The angle he had at 50 yards away would be impossible to see any contact and certainly not be able to be certain of a foul. However, the goal was taken away and the score remained 1-0.
- At 12:30, Marshall Tumperi beat the right defender (a regular occurrence through the game) to the corner and fed a nice left footed cross to a waiting Jacob McAdoo whose shot was just off frame as he was well-defended.
The half continued to see free kicks, corner kicks and Decatur possession controlling the game. With 3:35 left, Graham Godwin had a chance at a header and just missed on the finish. The half ended with Cross Keys holding onto a tenuous 1-0 lead.
The second half was a continuation of Decatur’s ongoing attack at the goal. Quality passes and field switches among Wilson Witherspoon, John Speed and Jacob McAdoo created space for Marshall Tumperi to make deep runs down the left side, opening up the middle for shots by Jacob, John and Nick. The heavy onslaught kept the Cross Keys defenders on the defensive most of the half. And, Decatur kept the Cross Keys keeper busy as well. As Marshall Tumperi made another foray around the Cross Keys right defender, and then past the first center defender, Wali Haji came charging into the picture, and Marshall laid the ball off just past the final defender and Wali easily netted the ball for a 1-1 tie.
BAD CALL #2: With 9:00 to go, after turning away a small number of counter attacks, and Jackson Bailey making some smart plays (including a save at nearly point blank range) to keep the game tied 1-1, Decatur drove deep into the Cross Keys box. On the play, Jacob McAdoo was clipped and fell to the ground (no call) just outside of the box. On the ensuing hustle play, Marshall Tumperi picked up the loose ball near midfield, and drove through two defenders from the left side, and he fed an onrushing Wali Haji the ball who pounded the ball in the net for an apparent Decatur 2-1 lead. However, the referee felt that Jacob McAdoo was in the play and called him offside (technically speaking, he was not in the play, and did not touch the ball).
With only minutes remaining, both teams played with high intensity to create the go-ahead goal. Decatur’s defense continued to be up to the test, and the Decatur midfield continued to show it had gas in the tank to push on all 50/50 balls and challenge every ball possession. With 3:25 to go, Jacob McAdoo won a hard fought 50/50 ball, and quickly found Nick Oshinski wide, but Cross Keys turned the play away.
BAD CALL #3: After a period where Cross Keys controlled the ball in the midfield (and many fans figured the game was heading to overtime), with only 0:20 remaining, Jacob McAdoo once again fought hard for the ball in the middle and won it. He quickly found Marshall Tumperi on the left side, who (again) beat the right defender on the outside and was charging directly to the goalie well inside the 18 when he was clipped from behind and crashed to the ground just as he was setting up his shot for the go-ahead goal. Shockingly, no foul was called. Yes, the same referee made all three calls that erased goal chances for Decatur…..
Overtime here we come. For newcomers to GHSA rules for overtime, two 5 minute periods are played, and if the score is still tied at that point, the game is sent to a PK shootout (5 shots taken by each team, and then if still tied, one shot at a time to see who wins).
With Jackson Bailey remaining in goal, after a short Decatur possession, the period started with a play only 45 seconds in where Jackson came well out of the goalie box to defend a counter attack and when the Cross Keys striker avoided Jackson, he easily found net for a quick 2-1 lead.
Only a minute later, the (same) referee called Jackson for a hand ball when he punted the ball at the edge of the keeper box. Hard to tell if the call was correct, but the Cross Keys keeper was punting from the same area most of the game as well. Fortunately, the resulting free kick from the 18 did not score. As the energetic period came to a close, Decatur earned a PK on a hand ball in the box when Decatur was putting non-stop pressure in the box. And, with only 0:01 showing on the clock in the first overtime, Jacob McAdoo calmly scored the goal for a 2-2 tie as the teams headed into the 2nd overtime.
The second overtime period held no advantage for either team, and the game was sent to a PK shootout. Long story short, the first five shots were on frame by both teams, and each keeper blocked one shot. Leaving the PK score tied at 4-4 as the teams entered the “one-shot-at-a-time” phase of the PK shootout. After both teams made 5 PK’s in a row, the 11th man for both teams hit the top crossbar. Decatur’s shot bounced out of the frame, and the Cross Keys shot hit the frame and went into the goal before bouncing out.
A tough loss for such a valiant effort by the Decatur boys. As Coach Altizer said after the game, this game simply wasn’t meant to be. Our young men played at a high level, and had many more chances to score goals besides the ones that were taken away. The last few games against Lakeside, Pebblebrook and Cross Keys show that the Decatur boys possess the determination, skill, teamwork and creativity to put many wins on the board this season. But, as with all soccer games, it comes down to avoiding the little mistakes and taking full advantage of the opportunities in front of the goal.