Winona tops Packers in shootout
Published 10:12 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010
The No. 2 seeded Packers saw their season come to an end in the worse way possible — a 5-4 shootout loss at the hands of No. 7 seeded Winona in the second round of the Section 1A boys soccer playoffs in Art Hass Stadium Thursday.
Winona (7-8-2 overall) scored its fifth goal in the shootout when Louis LaPorta knocked it in past a diving Jesus Allejo on the left side of the net.
Austin had a chance to force a second shootout but Zach Vierkandt, a defenseman, had his shot saved by a diving Mark Blacklock — Winona’s 6-foot, 5-inch keeper — to end the Austin’s season.
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“I don’t have the words to cure this,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “When you play that hard all season, you play that hard all game and you create all those opportunities, and then you lose on a shootout, there’s not much you can do. I’m pleased with everything they did.”
Austin (11-6-2overall) had to do the shootout without two of its top scorers in Rolando Rubio and Francisco Torres — who were both out with injuries.
“They both had injuries and they didn’t want to sacrifice one of the team’s kicks because they were hurt,” Levisen said.
The Packers had two big chances to seal up the game in overtime as Jake Hagen-Erickson had a wide open look from the side sail just wide of the net and Roland Rubio had a shot bounce off the side post.
Dante Ortiz had two close misses late in the second half, one that was just wide of the post and one that was just over the goal.
“We had a little more fire in the second half and we had two chances in overtime,” Levisen said. “It’s tough to know you were the better team, but the sun didn’t shine your way. That’s the nature of the game.”
Austin’s defense made some big plays to keep the game scoreless in regulation. Allejo, who had seven saves, made a diving save on a point blank look eight minutes into the game and Vierkandt knocked a ball away from an open net as regulation expired.
But for the most part, Austin controlled the temp on the night.
“All Winona was hoping to do all game was kick it long and play defense and it paid off for them,” Levisen said.
Hagen-Erickson, Ortiz, Pedro Herrera, and Erick Soto all made their kicks in the shootout for Austin.