Patriots get past Vikings but fall to Silver Foxes
A strong season for the Fort Dorchester boys’ soccer team ended Saturday in the third round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
Fort Dorchester was eliminated with a 2-1 loss to Dutch Fork.
It was a very physical match between a pair of Top 10 teams. The Silver Foxes (17-5-1) are ranked ninth in the 4-A coaches poll while the Patriots (14-6) are ranked 10th.
The center official issued four yellow cards and two red cards to Dutch Fork and three yellow cards to Fort Dorchester. One of the key plays of the game was a penalty kick hit by the Silver Foxes.
“This was one of those games where you had to keep fighting until the end,” Dutch Fork coach Todd Woodward said. “Fort Dorchester is a hard-working team so we came in here just trying to match their intensity because we knew how they were going to go after the ball.”
The Patriots created several scoring opportunities, particularly in the second half. However, the Silver Foxes did a good job defensively and continued to push the ball.
“I didn’t have too many words for the kids after the game other than telling them I’m proud of them and this year I’ve had the most fun I’ve ever had as a coach,” Fort Dorchester coach Chris Jones said. “In sports in general you can play your hearts out and even dominate the game but sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way. I feel like that was the case today. I think we outplayed them and played to our potential so I can’t be disappointed.”
Fort Dorchester scored its goal in the seventh minute of play.
Caleb Sandoval passed to Alihan Ozsoylu and he drove to the right post and then landed a shot in the left corner of the net.
Approximately eight minutes later, Dutch Fork answered.
After a Silver Foxes’ shot was swept, Rhett Stevens chased the ball down near the right sideline and sent a booming, curving kick into the left corner of the net to tie the game.
The decisive score was set up with just more than four minutes remaining in the first half when Fort Dorchester keeper Tiago Dos Santos and a Dutch Fork player both went scrambling for a ball to the left side of the goal. Santos dove for the ball and knocked it out of bounds, but hit the other player’s foot during the dive.
Dutch Fork was awarded a penalty kick that senior Graham Jermstad hit for the 2-1 Dutch Fork lead.
Dutch Fork advanced to face Lexington in the Lower State Championship match played Tuesday after press time.
On Thursday, the Patriots earned a 2-1 overtime victory over Spring Valley to move on to the third round.
“Tonight the boys showed a commitment and a desire to win that I hadn’t seen from them this season,” Jones said. “We’ve been talking about it, but tonight they proved they have a strong desire to win because that was an even game. Our boys’ just took it tonight so I’m proud of them.”
That contest was a tight match that didn’t see a score until the final eight minutes of regulation.
The Fort was awarded a free kick deep in Viking territory. Mahlie Clay booted the ball to Reilly Ashton who sent a high shot just out of the reach of the Spring Valley goalkeeper and into the net with 7:15 showing on the game clock.
All the Patriots had to do was run out the clock, but Spring Valley took advantage of a free kick from deep within its own territory to tie the game in the closing minute.
The high and long kick sailed up field and after landing took a high bounce that left Fort keeper Christian Baker with a tough decision on whether to run up to try to secure the ball or play back. Baker attacked the ball and was about to grab it when Spring Valley’s Brandon Burke leaped up and used his tall frame to head the ball past Baker and into the goal for a 1-1 tie.
In the first 10-minute overtime period, the Fort had some good scoring opportunities but couldn’t put the ball into the net. Spring Valley also took some shots, but Baker made three saves in the period.
The Patriots finally broke the tie late in the second overtime period. Defender Koh Matsumoto gained possession in Viking territory and sent a precision pass across midfield to forward Jack Stasek who sprinted by the second-last defender to pull the Viking keeper out of the goal. Stasek then sent a shot out of the keeper’s reach and into the net for the 2-1 Fort lead.
The Patriots graduate six seniors who will be missed, but should return a core of strong players next season.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com