PREP BOYS' SOCCER: Trojans, Crusaders play to 1-1 drawWORTHINGTON — There was so much action in Tuesday’s boys’ soccer game between Worthington and Mankato Loyola that it took an extra 10 minutes to fit it all in. However, neither team was able to score in either of the two five minute overtimes as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
WORTHINGTON — There was so much action in Tuesday’s boys’ soccer game between Worthington and Mankato Loyola that it took an extra 10 minutes to fit it all in.
However, neither team was able to score in either of the two five minute overtimes as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
“We gave a show to the fans and parents today, it was kind of exciting,” WHS head coach Vilath Lovan said. “I’m kind of disappointed myself as far as team performance, but at least we didn’t lose the game.”
The Crusaders had the first strong scoring chance of the game on a header that WHS goalkeeper Ricardo Maldonado was able to deflect out with a diving effort. ML’s Reilly Knutson controlled the rebound, but his shot missed wide.
Mankato Loyola earned the first goal of the game after 14:46 had passed on a direct free kick by Lance Gaspar from 25 yards out.
Gaspar’s shot stayed at ground level the whole way, taking a hard deflection off of Maldonado’s legs but going past him for the score.
“The kid is like third or fourth in scoring in the whole of Minnesota,” WHS forward Jared Kinley said. “He has the record of eight goals in one game. We knew he was going to find the goal once or twice, so we were lucky it was only once, I guess.”
Maldonado was faced with a strong shot by Corbin Brocker to the top of the net with 10:40 remaining in the half, which he was able to punch straight up and clear with his second effort.
“I feel like (Brocker), he can do anything, he never misses his target,” Lovan said. “You’ve got to give credit to Ricardo, he made a lot of saves.”
The Trojans had a pair of opportunities to score off of corner kicks in the next few minutes, but didn’t net the equalizer until 2:32 before the half on a goal by Jared Kinley.
Oo Aye Sit set up the play by winning the ball in the middle and passing to Diego Esquivel on the right side, who hit a pin-point cross that Kinley headed past Crusader goalkeeper Jake Clements.
“Diego just drove up on the right side, the cross was perfect and I just headed it in the upper-left corner,” Kinley said.
Since joining the team in midseason, Kinley has been a constant scoring threat for WHS.
“That’s why I put him up there,” Lovan said. “He’s not one of the best players on the team, but I just tell him, ‘Be where the ball will bounce, be at the right place at the right time and you’re going to have a chance to just tap it in.’ He’s played only four or five games and he’s scored about four goals.”
Worthington came close to going ahead 2:35 into the second half on a bizarre play.
With the ball coming forward from midfield, WHS forward Thun Lay ducked down and let the ball roll off of his back to Omot Okello, who hit a shot that was denied by Clements. Kinley got the rebound, but missed just wide-right.
Kinley had another good chance to score just less than seven minutes later, after Lay fought through a tackle and passed to him right in front of the goal, but Clements smothered the point-blank shot.
Late in the second half, Mankato Loyola had a trio of scoring opportunities on free kicks — with Maldonado making a save at full extension on a direct free kick by Gaspar to the top-right corner — but neither team was able break the deadlock in regulation, sending the contest to overtime.
The Crusaders had the best chances in overtime, hitting the cross bar and then the top part of the right-hand post on successive shots with one minute remaining in the first half of overtime.
Brocker stole a pass back from a WHS defender to Maldonado as time expired in the first half of overtime, but wasn’t able to reel off a shot as the ball rolled over the goal line, much to the relief of the Trojan fans, who were out in full force with the game being both WHS’ Parents Night and Meet the Trojans Night.
Neither team managed a strong shot in the second half of overtime.
Tuesday’s contest was the last game of the regular season for the Trojans, who finished with a 9-3-1 record. The team will find out today what seed it will take when the section playoffs begin early next week, which will likely be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed.
“I’m pretty happy the way it is as far as going into (today’s) seeding,” Lovan said. “Hopefully we get the No. 4 seed rather than No. 5.”
Kinley said that the team will enter sectional play with confidence in spite of finishing the regular season with Tuesday’s tie and a loss to Fairmont on Monday.
“I think the loss yesterday and the tie today will just help us focus on what we need to do and how to get more opportunities to score to beat the better teams,” Kinley said.
Mankato Loyola 1 0 0 0 — 1
Worthington 1 0 0 0 — 1