Eddies edge Bulldogs in shootoutPublished 11:24am Thursday, August 29, 2013
The game-winning goal in Tuesday’s boys soccer match between Edwardsburg and Otsego came from an unlikely source. Zac Griffith’s first career high school goal in the second round of penalty kicks lifted the Eddies past the Bulldogs, 2-1.
Before the match, the two head coaches decided to just have penalty kicks for overtime because of the excessive heat and it being a crossover Wolverine Conference match.
The first round of penalty kicks ended up tied at 3. The second round was sudden death. With both teams tied at 2 in sudden death, Otsego’s Collin Brown hit the crossbar to set up Griffith’s heroics.
“I was really tired,” said Griffith, who’s a junior. “I got myself ready and went out there and did what I had to do. I felt really good when I made the kick and I just looked up and it went right in.”
“It’s big for him because he didn’t get a lot of playing time last year,” said Edwardsburg coach Sean Jesse. “He’s playing a different postion this year. He played in the midfield last year and now he’s in the back. He’s made great strides back there this year. He’s been improving a lot. This is nice for him because he’s put in the work.”
Before Griffith scored, Edwardsburg got shootout goals from Tyler Treat, Austin Vega, Sean Billisitz, Nick Karamalegos and Jonothan Albrecht.
“It’s nice because last year we lost two shootouts at the end of they year and we went from playing for first to basically finishing eighth in the conference,” Jesse said. “It was nice to get that monkey off our back. We’re starting to look a little bit more confident. Last year, we didn’t put many on frame (during shootouts). Now, we’re getting a lot more on frame. We’re looking more settled with it. We’ve been working hard on PK’s so I wasn’t worried (at the end of regulation).”
At the start, Otsego appeared ready to take control of the match in regulation. Otsego’s Micah Beard got Edwardsburg goalie Ryan Mahaney out of position and scored just inside the box to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with 37:59 left in the match.
When a heat break took place with 20:20 left in the first half, Otsego owned a 5-1 edge on shots and had both corner kicks.
After the stoppage, Edwardsburg outplayed Otsego the rest of the first half. The Eddies owned an 8-3 edge on shots and tied the match at 1 after getting a goal from Treat with 9:45 left in the first half. Albrecht provided an assist on the shot, which came from five yards.
“I think at first we struggled to adapt to their speed because they were really quick up front,” Jesse said. “The heat definitely wore on them a little bit and we played a little bit of a different formation where we try to use our middles a lot. Once we were able to possess the ball we started to get shots.”
Edwardsburg carried the momentum into the second half, but was unable to finish its shots. The Eddies, who owned a 10-3 edge on shots over the final 40 minutes, saw seven of their shots stopped by Otsego goalies Tyler Rayman and Brady Syrek.
Otsego 1, Edwarsburg 1
O – Micah Beard 37:59
E – Tyler Treat (Jonothan Albrecht assist) 9:45
Shots on goal
Edwardsburg 19, Otsego 11
Ryan Mahaney (E) 4
Tyler Rayman (O) 8, Brady Syrek (O) 3
Edwardsburg 3, Otsego 5
Varsity records: Edwardsburg 2-1, Otsego 2-1-1