Boys soccer: Packers can’t finish off Rockets as they settle for tie
Published 11:29 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Just when it looked like the Packer boys soccer team had pulled off a dramatic win, Austin had to re-group and settle for a 1-1 tie with Rochester John Marshall in Art Hass Stadium Tuesday.
The Rockets (6-2-2 overall, 3-1-2 Big Nine) tied the contest up when Bilal Abdelqader scored on a put-back goal with just 30 seconds left in the game.
“I don’t like to get scored on,” said Austin keeper Gach Gach, who had 18 saves in the match. “I like to get shutouts and I had it for about 39 minutes and 30 seconds tonight. It was a tough, deep corner shot and it was out of my reach.”
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The Packers (2-3-2 overall, 1-2-2 Big Nine) had taken a 1-0 lead just 11 seconds before JM’s goal when Roel Torres scored on a put-back off a header attempt by Ochan Ochogi. Before the Packers knew what hit them, JM was already headed downfield to tie the game right after Torres’ goal.
“On the one hand, you think you sealed it, but that’s the nature of the game,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “When we talked before overtime, I said we’re not even going to talk about their goal, we’re going to talk about the goal we scored.”
The Packers, who had 11 shots on goal, nearly took the game in OT as Noah Brehmer had a point blank look that was stopped and Torres had a bullet that went into the upper corner of the net, but that was stopped too.
Austin also had chances in regulation as Jeremy Olmsted a shot deflect off the post and Levi Vierkandt had a point blank shot stopped.
“I’m very pleased with how we played,” Levisen said. “JM is a strong team and we knew we had to come out and play some good soccer.”
Gach kept the Packers in the game early on as 10 of his 18 saves came in the first half. The Rockets fired every shot low against the 6-5 keeper, but Gach was able to get down and dive for a lot of stops.
“They went low every single time and I had to adjust on every shot they took. It was difficult,” Gach said. “We wanted to pick it up and get a ‘W’ tonight. Unfortunately we got a tie, but we’ll take that instead of a loss.”