|Ball bounces Chargers’ way |
With more than a third of their regular season games ending in tie scores, no one could fault fans of the Westview Chargers soccer team from anticipating some extra playing time in the team’s District 14 A-AA semifinal game Monday night at the MTD Soccer Complex.
out in front — Westview’s Jeremy Haywood sprints past a defender during the Chargers’ tough 2-1 district tournament win Tuesday night. Haywood later scored the winning goal to advance the Chargers to the regional tourney for the 13th time in 13 seasons.
Instead, the Chargers took advantage of an unusual bounce to score the eventual winning goal with five minutes left in Westview’s 2-1 victory over the Milan Bulldogs.
“This team has had to battle for everything. Getting to the district championship is an accomplishment,” WHS head coach Dan Scates after the win. “We played extremely well on defense. Our midfielders controlled the game. We got contributions from everyone”
Milan got the game’s first goal at the 11-minute mark when Charger keeper Hyuntae Kim stopped a hard shot. Milan got a foot on the deflection and sent it past Kim for a 1-0 lead.
With Westview trailing 1-0 at halftime, Scates and assistant coach Nathan McBeth both told their team that the first goal of the second half would turn the game’s tide.
Seven minutes into the final 40 minutes, the Chargers got the momentum-turning goal and it came on a hustle play. Milan lost the ball out of bounds on the sideline in the WHS offensive end. While the Chargers raced to throw the ball in, the Bulldog defenders were slow to get back. Buddy Legens fired the ball into Derek Ahn who dribbled his way through a couple of backpedaling defenders into an open area 10 yards from the net. Ahn’s chest-high shot slipped inside the right post for Westview’s first goal and a 1-all tie.
“As much as we dominated possession until the, finally scoring was like getting a piano off our back,” Scates said.
The goal elevated Westview spirits and increased the intensity in a game that was physical from the start and saw three yellow cards handed out.
Westview thought they had the go-ahead goal 25 minutes into the second half when Zach Fortner chased down a ball and booted it in after Milan keeper Rick Moody had vacated the net. Fortner was whistled for offsides negating the goal.
The Chargers kept the pressure on Moody, who Scates called the “best goalie we’ve faced.”
With five minutes left in regulation, Westview had several touches in the box before knocking the ball over the end line.
On the ensuing goal kick, Moody booted a low hard shot into play. The kick ricocheted off the back of a Milan defender that did not turn and face. Charger senior Jeremy Haywood tracked down the ball in the open field and drilled a shot past Moody for a 2-1 Westview lead.
In the remaining minutes, Ahn and Jake Hart played keep away with the ball, frustrating the Bulldogs trying for a steal.
Westview will play Dyersburg in the district championship game at 6 on Thursday night on the Chargers’ home field.