Brandon upsets Oak Grove in PKs

By ANDREW ABADIE,

Brandon upsets Oak Grove in PKs

 

OAK GROVE – The Oak Grove boys’ soccer team fell short in penalty kicks in the first round of the 6A playoffs against Brandon on Tuesday night.

 

Despite opening the game with a 1-0 lead, the Warriors missed out on several opportunities to secure a win. 

 

“We knew in order to beat them we were going to have to finish goals,” Oak Grove head coach Jesse Lang said. “We moved the ball around and got it right where we wanted but just did not finish very well in front of the goal. 1-0 is not a very good lead. We knew that they were going to keep pounding it and try to get a corner, a kick, or something into our goal. We defended it pretty decent all night until one mistake.”

 

Walker Fairly put the Warriors up early in the seventh minute of play. Eian Fajardo found Fairly as a result of early pressure from Oak Grove. 

 

At the beginning of the second half, the Warriors’ starting goalkeeper Zach Metz, left the game due to a head injury after colliding with a Brandon player. This thrust freshman keeper Joshua Goodwin to the field. 

 

“[Goodwin] was great,” Lang said. “He’s a freshman, but he has been a goalie his whole life. He is actually the kind of athlete we can play in the field if we needed to. I had no hesitation when Zac went down and giving Josh the opportunity. He’s played in a lot of games for us. We have put him in several times.” 

 

Brandon (11-4-1), however, took advantage of the freshman on a scramble and scored on a one-on-one matchup against Lewis in the 69th minute.

 

“One of our midfielders had the ball and he took it in and had a player running that he should have made the pass and held it too long,” Lang said. “Then he got kicked down and one of our defenders slipped and they just stuck it straight in to level it up.” 

 

In spite of not scoring in the second half and overtime, the Warriors (15-4) missed out on several opportunities and outshot Brandon 13-6. Oak Grove missed three open shots with each coming from a crossover play and notably had the ball hit a goal post on two different occasions. 

 

“We kept telling them to play our game, which is passing the ball around, getting it in front of the goal and take shots,” Lang said. “There was some series in there where we played long ball with them. Kick it down to there keeper and then their keeper would kick it down 80-yards. We got frustrated not being able to finish and we got out of what we do best. 

 

“We had based the whole year on being able to pass and move the ball. We have been doing a great job of it. You’re dealing with kids and we got out of [system]. We started playing balls through the middle and their keeper is out so far that a ball in the middle is going right to him and he’s kicking it 80-yards back that way. I think our backline got tired of defending those long balls. There were times where they slipped, or they didn’t get a good header on it. They just wore us out with the long balls.’

 

The Warriors were quickly outmatched in penalty kicks as all of the Warriors attempted shots were blocked. 

 

“We had a great year and we had a great group of seniors,” Lang said. “They did a great job leading. They were the first ones out to practice. They made sure everyone stayed in line doing what they were doing. Unfortunately, we haven’t had to face a lot of diversity this year.”

Brandon upsets Oak Grove in PKs

OAK GROVE – The Oak Grove boys’ soccer team fell short in penalty kicks in the first round of the 6A playoffs against Brandon on Tuesday night.

Despite opening the game with a 1-0 lead, the Warriors missed out on several opportunities to secure a win.

“We knew in order to beat them we were going to have to finish goals,” Oak Grove head coach Jesse Lang said. “We moved the ball around and got it right where we wanted but just did not finish very well in front of the goal. 1-0 is not a very good lead. We knew that they were going to keep pounding it and try to get a corner, a kick, or something into our goal. We defended it pretty decent all night until one mistake.”

Walker Fairly put the Warriors up early in the seventh minute of play. Eian Fajardo found Fairly as a result of early pressure from Oak Grove.

At the beginning of the second half, the Warriors’ starting goalkeeper Zach Metz, left the game due to a head injury after colliding with a Brandon player. This thrust freshman keeper Joshua Goodwin to the field.

“[Goodwin] was great,” Lang said. “He’s a freshman, but he has been a goalie his whole life. He is actually the kind of athlete we can play in the field if we needed to. I had no hesitation when Zac went down and giving Josh the opportunity. He’s played in a lot of games for us. We have put him in several times.”

Brandon (11-4-1), however, took advantage of the freshman on a scramble and scored on a one-on-one matchup against Lewis in the 69th minute.

“One of our midfielders had the ball and he took it in and had a player running that he should have made the pass and held it too long,” Lang said. “Then he got kicked down and one of our defenders slipped and they just stuck it straight in to level it up.”

In spite of not scoring in the second half and overtime, the Warriors (15-4) missed out on several opportunities and outshot Brandon 13-6. Oak Grove missed three open shots with each coming from a crossover play and notably had the ball hit a goal post on two different occasions.

“We kept telling them to play our game, which is passing the ball around, getting it in front of the goal and take shots,” Lang said. “There was some series in there where we played long ball with them. Kick it down to there keeper and then their keeper would kick it down 80-yards. We got frustrated not being able to finish and we got out of what we do best.

“We had based the whole year on being able to pass and move the ball. We have been doing a great job of it. You’re dealing with kids and we got out of [system]. We started playing balls through the middle and their keeper is out so far that a ball in the middle is going right to him and he’s kicking it 80-yards back that way. I think our backline got tired of defending those long balls. There were times where they slipped, or they didn’t get a good header on it. They just wore us out with the long balls.’

The Warriors were quickly outmatched in penalty kicks as all of the Warriors attempted shots were blocked.

“We had a great year and we had a great group of seniors,” Lang said. “They did a great job leading. They were the first ones out to practice. They made sure everyone stayed in line doing what they were doing. Unfortunately, we haven’t had to face a lot of diversity this year.”