Wildecats Bring Top-ranked Eagles To Earth With 1-1 Tie

Double-overtime Deadlock Ruins Centennial's Perfect Soccer Record

October 13, 1991|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff writer

One team was happy with the tie. One team wasn't. And it didn't takea genius to figure out which was which.

Seventh-ranked Wilde Lake(5-2-1 overall, 1-1-1 league) spoiled a potentially perfect Centennial season by tying the top-ranked Eagles, 1-1, in double overtime at Centennial Friday.

Wilde Lake's defense, which had shut out five teams this season, held Centennial (7-0-1, 2-0-1) scoreless for the final 90 minutes of the game after the Eagles' Tod Downen scored in the 10th minute.

Josh Baer set up the goal by maneuvering in close on the left side of the net and drawing out Wilde Lake goalie Todd Bradford. Baer then passed to Downen, who was cutting down the center of the field guarded closely by Mike Curtis.

Downen kicked the ball into the upper leftof the open net despite a strong defensive effort by Curtis, who played an outstanding game for the Wildecats.

Rehan Gill missed an earlier open shot at the 18-yard line for Centennial, or the score easily could have been 2-0.

Centennial alternated Paul Badawi, Evan Peverly and Werner Krueger as marking backs on Wilde Lake's two star offensive players, Hamisi Amani-Dove and Matt Nesbitt.

But it still wasn't enough to stop that duo from producing a tying Wildecats goal five minutes into the second half.

Nesbitt triggered the play by capturing a head ball in the middle of the field at about the 35-yard line. He dribbled away, but was then stripped by a Centennial defender.

Amani-Dove gathered up the loose ball on the run and drove the right side before unleashing a hard shot inside the near post, past beaten Eagles keeper Brock Yetso.

That was all the scoring despite two 10-minute sudden death overtime periods that brought the length of the game to 100 minutes.

"It was a great game," Wildecats coach Dave Nesbitt said.

"We gave no quarter. They gave no quarter. There was a good contrast in style because we tried to knock it around and they went straight to goal. Our kids really dug in."

Both teams generated numerous offensive threats in a game that featured a lot ofuncalled pushing fouls.

"The refs couldn't handle the level of play, and the pushing in the game got out of hand," Centennial coach Bill Stara said. "Nesbitt pushed Krueger down on the play on which theyscored."

Centennial applied tremendous offensive pressure early in the first overtime. On a throw-in by Eagle Allen Alejandro, Bradford leaped and missed catching the ball. Only a kick-save by Kwesi Ewol-Robotham at the far post saved Wilde Lake.

The teams traded scoring opportunities in the second overtime. The 'Cats missed a direct kick from 34 yards in the fourth minute of the second overtime. Wildecat David Lubitz saved a potential Eagles goal with a kick-away at the far post in the sixth minute.

Then it was Alejandro with a save for Centennial at the front of the net in the seventh minute. Nesbitt'scorner kick in the eighth minute was batted away by Yetso.

Diego Valverde had a chance to win it for Wilde Lake, but his kick from theright side faded just wide of the far post.

Centennial got the final chance, a throw-in by Krueger that Bradford caught with 10 seconds left.

The Eagles dominated the early part of the first half, butWilde Lake rallied strongly after the Eagles missed a couple of goodchances.

"Our inability to get the second goal hung us," Stara said. "The more we missed, the more Wilde Lake got into the game."

Wilde Lake's best chance to tie in the first half came on a shot by GianPaulo Einaudi that hit the top right post where it meets the crossbar.

Wilde Lake had several chances following Amani-Dove's goal in the second half.

Nesbitt hit a 30-yard direct over the goal. He also kicked a hard shot on goal that Yetso dove left to stop, on the best save of the game. And Ewol-Robotham hit the left post for Wilde Lake 30 minutes into the second half.

Nesbitt nearly broke away for the winning goal in the 38th minute of the second half, but Yetso raced to the ball and kicked it away just as Nesbitt let his shot go.

Wilde Lake sweeper Cory Sautter played an outstanding game. He brokeup two dangerous plays during the final 10 minutes of the second half.

And Wilde Lake stopper Mike Aballo was equally outstanding as amarking back on Centennial's leading scorer, Josh Baer. Aballo stripped Baer of the ball several times in the corner and then turned the ball back upfield.

Curtis played a strong midfield game for Wilde Lake and Bradford excelled in the goal. Cullen Meade played a strong defensive game for Centennial.

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