Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bulls prevail over pesky Tigers

A 2nd soccer match in a row wasn't decided until the waning moments of the 2nd overtime, this time with a dramatic, heart stopping, come out of nowhere save from Sr. keeper Drew Andreotti. The game started much like the first contest vs. Mount Pleasant did, which the Bulls won handily 10-0. Perhaps thinking this contest would be much the same, the young men started with less focus and energy than the first match. Nevertheless, HR took a 1-0 lead on a rocket from Jr. Adrian Ike that skipped through the gloves of the keeper and into the underside of the top netting. 1-0 Bulls. However, unlike the first contest, the Tigers scored and the equalizer came with about 5 minutes remaining in the opening frame. Hickory Ridge spent the last 5 minutes of the half just trying to maintain and get to halftime with a draw.

The 2nd half saw the Bulls play with focus, energy, and intensity... but without reward. Shot after shot after shot (after get the idea) missed high, wide left and wide right. Frustration mounted with each errant kick as the Bulls dominated play but just could not find the clincher. Regulation ended the same as the first half ended, in a 1-1 tie. OT started with a full moon rising in the south and the stadium lights lighting the pitch. The first OT period was much like the second half - dominated by the Bulls but nary a goal could be had. Finally, with about 3 minutes remaining in the 2nd OT period, Adrian Ike beat the left fullback down the side and to the touch line, send a low centering pass to the top of the box where Sr. Matt Abbott put the ball into the back of the net for a 2-1 Bulls lead. As much as Hickory Ridge dominated play, one would think the game would be over. Que the win preserving save by Andreotti. With about a minute remaining, the Tigers lofted a pass into the box where Sr. Jason Hladik headed it out. Unfortunately, a MP player was nearby to volley the ball out of the air and launch a looping shot toward the top right corner of the goal. When out of nowhere Andreotti deflects the ball up ... and into his hands ending the last threat of the match and preserving the Hickory Ridge 2-1 victory.

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