A stunning defeat
LINCOLN — After putting together a strong season that ended with a league championship and playing its best ball down the stretch, the Alcona soccer team knew it was in for a battle against a Roscommon team that the Tigers defeated in the final seconds of the district tournament a year ago.
Despite Alcona riding a big wave of momentum heading into district play, it was the Bucks that got revenge from last seasons defeat and shocked the Tigers, beating Alcona 4-3 in a district semifinal game that went to a shootout on Wednesday at Alcona High School.
“It was a great soccer game. The game went to overtime and then went to a shootout and unfortunately one team had to lose and tonight it was us,” Alcona coach Tim Munro said. “It is what it is. It was a good season for us and Roscommon was better than we were today and I wish them well moving forward.”
The 80 minutes of regulation time was not nearly enough for the two teams as they headed into the first overtime period tied at one goal apiece. There were two 20 minute overtime periods, with the team who held the lead after the full 20 minutes were up was declared the winner.
The Tigers had a golden opportunity with 36 seconds left to play in the second overtime when Jordan Steiner had some green grass ahead and outran two Roscommon defenders, but couldn’t get a clean shot off and a save was made by Bucks goalkeeper Lottie Wongmahisorn which eventually sent both teams to settle the score in a shootout.
“It would have been nice for that shot to go in, but you know that’s soccer and our opponents played Jordan really tough tonight,” Munro said.
Each team had five attempts from five different shooters.
Steiner hit the cross bar on the first attempt before Landon Adams got one past Alcona keeper Conner McCoy to put the Bucks up one in the shootout.
McCoy took the next shot for Alcona and capitalized, giving the Tigers their first goal of the shootout and tying the game after he stopped Alejandro Collado on Roscommon’s second attempt.
Both Josh Kilbourn and Caleb Jacobs missed the net on the teams third attempt.
Elliot Dubuque put the Tigers up one with a goal, but Roscommon’s MacArthur Schultz found a way to get another ball past McCoy to tie the game back up heading into the final round of the shootout.
Alcona’s Aiden Wrobel missed the net, which gave Roscommon senior Logan Strickler a chance to end the game with a goal and he did just that, beating the nations all-time career saves lead to send the Bucks sideline into a frenzy and leave an Alcona team stunned in disbelief on its home field.
“We had planned for this and penalty kick shootouts is something we practice every day and we had our players lined up and had our second five lined up if it got to that point,” Munro said. “It was unfortunate for us, but once again that is soccer.”
The opening half was well played by both teams with both sides having opportunities to score. The Tigers opened the scoring with 22:41 left in the first half when Brett Nelson created a scoring opportunity that Alcona cashed in on with a hustle play to keep the ball in bounds by the side of the net and dish a perfect pass to Steiner who found the back of the net for a goal.
The Bucks had chances of their own, but saw the best opportunity just miss as a ball hit the cross bar with 17:50 left in the half and Roscommon failed to get a real good look the remainder of the half.
Trailing a goal, the Bucks came out and put the pressure on Alcona early and often in the second half and they netted the tying goal with 20:35 left in regulation when they turned a Tiger corner kick around and went the length of the field to set up their first goal.
Neither team could get much going late in the game or in the overtime period other than when Steiner just missed out on a chance to score with seconds left in the second overtime before Alcona saw its special season end.
“We only had two seniors on this team, but Connor and Jordan were the two best seniors that I’ve had and they played very well all season and throughout their careers,” Munro said. “These two seniors were great for our team and the rest of the kids on our team because it’s a family atmosphere here with this team and it was just a great group of kids to coach.”