|Penalty kicks lift Chargers to title |
Fans who paid to attend the District 14 A-AA Soccer Tournament championship game certainly got their money’s worth Thursday night.
Celebrate — The Westview Chargers stormed onto the field to celebrate following the final save by goalkeeper Hyuntae Kim during the penalty kick phase of overtime in the District 14 A-AA Tournament championship game Thursday night. Westview took a 1-0 v
After a scoreless 80 minutes of regulation, the Westview Chargers and Dyersburg Trojans played a marathon game needing both overtimes and the penalty kick phase to decide the district champion. It was Westview which came out on top with the official 1-0 win. The Chargers took the penalty phase by slipping four shots by Dyersburg keeper William Lay while Westview’s minder Hyuntae Kim gave up just one goal to the Trojans.
The win sets up the Chargers to host the North Side Indians at 3 on Tuesday afternoon in the Region 7 A-AA semifinal.
“These guys earned this one. That’s a good team we beat,” WHS head coach Dan Scates said. Scates pointed out that the close score was the norm when these two teams meet. Five of the last six games between them have been decided by one goal.
Scates praised the play of Kim, his defenders and midfielders.
“We did a great job of possessing the ball and limiting the touches by (Dyersburg top scorer) David Grueser,” the coach said. WHS junior Jake Hart had the tough task of marking Grueser most of the night.
The Chargers’ success on penalty kicks broke a playoff trend of Westview losing on PKs. In both 1997 and 2005, the WHS seasons came to an end when the Chargers fell short on penalty kicks. Both years, the team to defeat Westview went on to finish as the state runner-up.
Both Kim and Lay punched shots away in the first 15 minutes of action. After that, the ball was stuck in the midfield area for the bulk of the remainder of the first half resulting in a 0-0 tie at halftime.
With 17 minutes left in the second half, Dyersburg made an aggressive push upfield. Kim came out for a sliding save and deflected the shot which ricocheted to another Trojan forward. With Kim still prone on the ground, Dyersburg fired another shot at the goal, but WHS defender Harrison Moore hustled over to clear the shot.
“The play of the game was Moore sweeping that shot out of there. I just knew we were going to win when Harrison made his play,” Scates said.
The game remained scoreless when the referee whistled the end of regulation.
The keepers and defenders were still in control through both 10-minute halves in OT.
With just 45 seconds gone off the clock in the first five-minute sudden death phase, a Westview hand ball just outside the upper corner of the penalty box gave the Trojans a clear look at the goal, but their shot was wide.
The bulk of the two five-minute sessions was spent on the Chargers’ offensive end, but Westview could not get a shot past Lay. Kim was equal to the task on the opposite end and the “golden goal” phase of OT passed without any scoring.
Scates and assistant coach Nathan McBeth then had to make the call on which five Chargers to send out for the penalty kicks.
Dyersburg won the coin toss but opted to defer and kick second in the alternating shot format.
On the spot first for Westview was sophomore Will Sliger. Sliger’s low shot slipped inside the left post for a 1-0 WHS advantage.
Kim stepped into the goal mouth and faced the Trojans’ top weapon. Grueser fired a rocket wide and high right to send up cheers among the Charger fans.
Junior Blake Hooten mimicked Sliger with a low shot. His kick went past a diving Lay and inside the right post to put Westview in front, 2-0.
Dyersburg’s Kyle Youmans blasted a waist high shot by Kim to cut the WHS lead to 2-1.
Next up for the Blue and Gold, senior Derek Ahn had his hard shot deflect off the hands of Lay and into the goal for a 3-1 lead.
Kim came up with a big save on the third DHS shot, diving and punching away a blast by Evan Jones.
Charger senior Zach Fortner’s rocket into the net was the deciding goal giving Westview an insurmountable 4-1 lead in the best of five PK phase.
The victory in the district championship game was the 10th in 13 tries for Westview.
“We’ve jelled together as a team and we’re building momentum at the right time,” Scates said of his winning Chargers.