The West Greene soccer team kept applying pressure on Tuesday afternoon, it refused to quit on plays, and even though it took nine overtime minutes the Buffaloes were able to capture a 2-1 win over Chuckey-Doak.
It was quite the turnaround from last week, when on Friday it was the Black Knights who left with a 5-1 victory.
“We’re excited to get this result, anytime we can come out and get a result against Chuckey-Doak we’ll feel good about it,” West Greene coach Logan Minnick said. “Our energy was better than last week and we played as a team. It was all about persistence and tenacity. We didn’t quit on plays.”
The game-clinching goal came in the ninth minute of overtime. It was started when Joshi Haase worked from the top of the 18-yard box and found an opening to send a shot at the frame. But Chuckey-Doak’s Rio Little swooped in and stepped in front of the shot to knock it away.
That did not stop West Greene as it moved quickly and regained possession before the ball could roll out of play. The ball again made its way to Haase’ feet along the end line left of the frame. He worked toward the goal with Chuckey-Doak’s defense closing in, and from a tight angle he sent a hard shot to the far post that was on target and gave the Buffaloes the win.
“I just saw the ball coming toward me, I honestly don’t even know where it came from,” Haase said. “After I got the ball I just tried to run past them, and I took my shot. I just shot it hard, and tried to place somewhere in the goal.”
The evening started with West Greene controlling the attack for much of the first half. Midfielders Jonas Wick, Joseph Rojas, Blair Shelton and Dani Cicero did a good job of keeping the ball at West Greene’s feet and giving the Buffaloes chances to create goals.
“Our positioning in the midfield was a lot better,” Minnick said. “They had that passion and that fire that we needed tonight. Those guys didn’t feel good about our last result and we wanted to come out here and that that wasn’t us.”
While possession favored West Greene early, challenging shots on the frame rarely followed. Haase had a couple of chances, but could never create enough separation from Hayden Anderson, who marked him all night long, to get a clean look. West Greene even had four corner kick opportunities in the first half, but none of them turned into shots.
Chuckey-Doak took the lead in the 35th minute on just its second shot on goal. Ethan Grindstaff made his way to the top of the box in front of the frame, and as the Buffs’ defense adjusted he found an opening and launched a shot into the right side of the net to put Chuckey-Doak on top 1-0 going into halftime.
The momentum from the goal carried over into the second half, as Grindstaff, Marco Rojas and Roberto Vazquez made a handful of challenging runs into the box. None of those runs, though, could get a ball past West Greene keeper Hunter Gregg.
West Greene was able to find the equalizer in the 61st minute, again because they refused to quit on the play. Wick sent the first shot at the goal from straight away. Keeper Levi Wirt stepped in front to stop the shot, but he spilled the ball back in front of the frame. Haase was first to the ball and punched it right past the keeper to knot things at 1-1.
From there both teams had a few chances to capture the win, but nothing materialized before the clock struck zero.
In the third minute of overtime West Greene was awarded its most dangerous opportunity of the night when Blair Shelton lined up for a free kick from 22 yards. His shot got over the defense but did not drop in time to get below the cross bar.
In the second five-minute session of overtime Chuckey-Doak’s Grindsatff had a good look from the top of the box, and Rojas tried to turn in a corner kick. Gregg was sure handed on both attempts to keep the game tied until Haase’s heroics in the 89th minute.
West Greene finishes District 1-2A play with a 2-2 record, having split the season series with University High and Chuckey-Doak. Chuckey-Doak is now 1-2 in league play and University High is 2-1. Chuckey-Doak and University High will meet next week to decide the top seed in the upcoming district tournament.
If all three teams were to finish 2-2 in league play go differential would decide the order of finish. That would make last week’s 5-1 very valuable for Chuckey-Doak and very hurtful to West Greene.