|Kalida boys advance to Districts|
|Monday, October 21, 2013 12:18 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
The Wildcats (12-2-3), who had won the regular-season meeting 4-3, advance to tangle with the Lima Temple Christian/New Knoxville victor at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Kalida Soccer Stadium.
“I wasn’t expecting a 4-3 match but I also wasn’t expecting a 1-0. I think what you saw was both teams upping the intensity from the regular season and being a little tighter,” Kalida mentor Mark Czubik explained. “The pressure gets upped a notch and the game tends to be more closely-contested, which means the defenses will mark tighter.”
Neither team could get a lot of looks at their goal in the first half, virtually none in the first 17-plus minutes.
The Pirates (10-7-1) had the first one at 22:36. Dallas Geckle got a free kick from 22 yards and he launched it over the wall; however, Kalida netminder Brent Hovest (7 saves vs. 9 shots) made a deflection out of bounds.
On Kalida’s first real effort, they made it pay off at 10:48. On the right side, Ian Richey made an inside pass to Devin Kortokrax on the right post, who 1-touched it to Austin Swift for a 4-yarder on the left post, beating Pirate keeper Austin Mansfield (3 saves vs. 5 shots on-goal).
The Maroon and While had another chance at 9:40 but Richey’s 14-yarder was stopped by Mansfield.
With just 14 ticks left, Adam Lawhorn had a 25-yarder that nearly handcuffed Hovest but he came up with the goods.
The Pirates seemed much more aggressive in their efforts to tie this match the second half and the intensity went up another notch or two.
At 35:30, Gabe Williams head a 12-yarder knocked away by the Kalida netminder.
At 16:53, the Wildcats had their only real scoring effort in the second half: a boot over the crossbar by Adam Langhals.
It really got interesting at 11:38. A high kick was called on a Kalida player in the box, allowing for a 12-yard indirect kick for Joey Swager. Both teams had a player given a yellow card for some jostling among the Kalida wall and Continental players trying to mess with it. Swager pooched the effort off the bar and the Pirates could not get a follow shot.
In the last minute, Geckle had two efforts turned away by Hovest: with 50 ticks left, his 8-yarder was knocked away; and with 20 ticks left, the same was done to his 30-yarder.
“We played a little more passively the second half, especially as it went on. We were being more careful,” Czubik added. “Continental was much more aggressive. We were fortunate to get that first goal. They had a couple of good scoring chances that fortunately they didn’t put in. This could easily have gone the other way. We did what we had to do and that was survive; that is what the tournament is all about. Expect that it will get tougher as we move on but hopefully, we can play a little better now that we have the first match of the tournament under our belts.”
Continental had eliminated Fort Jennings in its tourney opener.