Patience pays off for Austin senior

Published 10:34 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

An Austin senior finally found offensive glory in the Austin boys soccer team’s 2-0 win over Schaeffer Academy in Art Hass Stadium Monday.

Packers defender Mike Page made a key stop early and was rewarded by scoring a penalty kick — the first goal of his career — with just under 10 minutes left in the match to put Austin up 2-0 and ice it for the Packers (8-4-2 overall). \

Page was able to attempt the penalty kick after Martin Mannocchio was fouled while drawing an elbow from a Schaeffer defender on a header attempt.

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“I’m so glad (to get the PK), because a bunch of my teammates wanted to take it. When I was back at sweeper I was telling my stopper Tim Horn ‘I really wish I could take this,’ and he just yelled out to Jens (Levisen) on the bench ‘let Page take it.’” Page said. “I went up there and took the shot and it was awesome. I was extremely nervous thinking ‘if I miss this, it’s gonna suck’, but as soon as I set up for the kick it went away and I put it in.”

Page scooted his shot under the keeper on the left side.

While his score was big, it was the Page’s defense that stood out the most. After a scoreless first half, Schaeffer (6-7 overall) nearly scored three minutes into the first half when it caught Austin keeper Ryan Rasell off guard and the ball slipped out of his grasp after he had made a save. Page booted the shot away, just before it crossed the line.

“(Ryan) got one hand on it and he was swinging his other arm around as the ball came out, so he almost threw it back towards the goal and I just happened to be standing there and barely got a left foot on it,” Page said. “I was freaking out after that one.”

Austin took the lead when Jacob Brehmer penetrated and scored eight minutes into the second half. Brehmer’s attempt was one of 30 total shots attempted for the Packers — who had three goals called off due to violations in the second half.

“You take that many shots and have some taken back, they get a little frustrated. But they kept pushing through,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “We’ve got enough guys that can make things happen that its just a matter of plugging away at it.”

Rasell finished with three saves for Austin, but he made a huge one with nine minutes left in the first half when he leaped up and made a one handed stop. Drew Halvin almost put the Packers on the board two minutes later when his shot bounced off the top post after a crossing pass from Pedro Herrera.

The win is Austin’s sixth win outside of the Big Nine and keeps the Pack undefeated in non-conference matches.

“This is one that we really needed to be ready for,” Levisen said. “It was a strong showing and it should be really big when it comes to the section tournament.”

Austin will host Mayo Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We gotta be up for it and have our heads where they need to be,” Levisen said. “We’ve got to play to win, they’re tough but we’re tough too.”

Austin will hold it’s Youth soccer night during the Mayo match. Participants of Park and Recreation youth soccer and Austin Youth soccer will get free admission and there will be a youth match at halftime.