Soccer Team Falls In PKs To Western In Sectional

Posted on October 4, 2018 in Boy's Soccer, Fall Sports

Junior Samuel Boyer

Junior goalie Samuel Boyer makes a save during PKs vs. Western.

BY SCOTT HUNT – shunt@chronicle-tribune.com
KOKOMO — For nearly 160 all of its two Class 2A Northwestern Sectional matches, Oak Hill’s boys soccer team proved to have a nearly flawless defense and a stone wall in goal with junior Samuel Boyer.

In Wednesday’s semifinal match against Western, Oak Hill’s defense remained suffocating and Boyer was at times spectacular.

Oak Hill attempted just two shots in each half against Western, but less than four minutes into the first half, Gavin Holz ran down a pass from Luke VanBibber and got a touch on the ball just before Panther goal keeper Adam Barber could get his hands on it.

Holz softly deposited into the net for a 1-0, Golden Eagles advantage.

And Oak Hill held that advantage until just over 15 minutes remained when freshman Nolan Kessler sent an angled shot past Boyer for the equalizer for Western. The game went through both seven minute overtime periods before Western outscored Oak Hill 2-1 in penalty kicks to earn the hard fought win.

The Golden Eagles put in a gritty performance in their shut out of a tough Marion side, 1-0 on Monday and displayed more of the same toughness to battle a very good Western team to the bitter end.

“With soccer you put the grit in and put the work in, but still there’s going to be bounces that go your way and don’t go your way,” said first-year Oak Hill coach Joel Garverick. “I’m proud of every single person on our team for the fight they put in tonight and the fight they’ve put in all year.

“We learned so much and worked so hard and for the seniors, I hate to see it end like that,” he added. “Western is a great team and neither of us deserved to lose, but that’s sports. That’s how it goes. Both teams work hard, both teams want it and in the end sometimes it comes down to a bounce or two.”

Unofficially, Western owned an 20-4 shot advantage and Boyer knocked away 11 of the 12 Panther offerings that were on goal through 94 minutes of regulation and overtime. He then made saves against the first two shots he faced in penalty kicks before Dominick Bauer’s effort to find the net.

Meanwhile, Barber was Boyer’s equal in PKs, after Oak Hill missed the goal on its first attempt, the Panther junior knocked the next two shots away allowing Bauer to give Western the edge.

The next two shooters for Western both miss the goal as well and needing a goal to keep going. Isaiah Henry delivered for Oak Hill on the Eagles’ fifth attempt.

With the PK session tied at 1-1 through five shooters, a new set of five for each side were selected for sudden death. Barber came up with a save on VanBibber’s attempt, then Charles Padgett ended it with a shot past Boyer.

“Sam’s a heck of a player and a heck of a keeper. He’s a rock. He’s consistent and he makes highlight reel saves,” Garverick said of Boyer. “I thought our defense played really well but when we gave up chances Sam was right there. Just bend and bend and bend and just broke one time.

“Hats off to Western. They played really well,” he continued. “They played good soccer and they’ve got a chance to win this sectional and go further.”

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