Soccer: Packers prevail in OT
After 160 minutes of being held without a goal, Jake Hagen-Erickson was about to lose his patience when a score fell right into his lap and he vaulted the Packers soccer team to a 2-1 overtime win over Pine Island/Zumbrota/Mazeppa in a Section 1A semifinal game at Art Hass Stadium Saturday.
With 41 seconds left in the extra session, Hagen-Erickson recovered a loose ball that fell out of PIZM keeper Brady Holt’s hand after a Barush Terrazas direct kick and he booted it through for the game winner.
Before he knew it, Hagen-Erickson was in the middle of a pile of his teammates celebrating a win.
“I just turned and shot it. I saw it go past the keeper and I just started running,” Hagen-Erickson said. “(Being focused on) gets to you, but my coaches and players were calming me down.”
Hagen-Erickson’s goal was one of three huge plays made by the No. 2 seeded Packers (12-3-3 overall), who will play at Rochester Lourdes Tuesday for a trip to the Class ‘A’ state tournament.
Austin almost had its season end in regulation when PIZM’s German foreign exchange student Fredi Bormann launched a 25-yard bullet with 1:20 left in regulation. The wind caught the shot and it tailed away from Austin keeper Collin Weisert, who was able to stretch out, dive and tip the ball away from the net.
“I was just in the zone and I didn’t think about it,” Weisert, who had four saves, said. “That’s the best save I can recall making and it makes it a lot better that it was right before overtime and we went on to win.”
Austin trailed 1-0 for most of the night as Bormann put in a header in the 25th minute for No. 4 PIZM (11-5-3 overall). After several missed opportunities, including an Abinyan Lual header that deflected off a PIZM defender’s foot near the goal.
The Packers finally tied the game up when Zach Robinson put in a header on a pin-point pass from Francisco Torres in the 63rd minute.
It was just the second goal of the season for Robinson, a senior, who also scored in the 3-1 win over Byron.
“It felt awesome (to score). Sometimes I don’t have confidence in myself, but I felt I had it in me,” Robinson said. “We knew we could play with them and we knew we had it in us. We all wanted it really bad.”
Austin had three chances to score in the first 10 minutes but Roel Torres shot wide on a breakaway and Hagen-Erickson had a shot go off the left post and a shot go wide right on breakaways. In all, Holt stopped 12 shots by Austin.
“We had so many opportunities come close and then they score on their first real attempt on goal,” Austin head coach Jens Levisen said. “It deflates you a little bit and each attempt that misses adds that extra urgency. You think this could be it, but you only think that for a split second but as I coach I know who’s on my team and the players know how they’re going to support each other.”
Austin will now get a rematch with No. 1 Lourdes (17-2 overall), who beat Austin 4-0 earlier this season. The game will be played at RCTC Stadium at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.