Laker boys soccer wins thriller in OT
This time, it was enough. The words "not enough" were not going to be used to describe another Detroit Lakes boys' soccer team result, after Thursday's intense 3-2 win over highly-touted Hillcrest/Pelican Rapids on the DL Rotary Soccer Complex fi...
This time, it was enough.
The words "not enough" were not going to be used to describe another Detroit Lakes boys' soccer team result, after Thursday's intense 3-2 win over highly-touted Hillcrest/Pelican Rapids on the DL Rotary Soccer Complex field in the regular season finale.
After losing leads to East Grand Forks and Bemidji over the course of the last couple of weeks, the Lakers found themselves losing another 1-0 advantage, but that didn't deter them, as senior forward Travis Kienitz connected with junior midfielder Alex Vanegas in the first five-minute overtime period to secure the win.
Kienitz, who scored the tying goal with just under five minutes to play in regulation, gained possession of the ball on the far right side of the penalty area.
He made an accurate cross pass to Vanegas, who was charging the net and put a one-timer past the Hillcrest goalie.
"After I gained possession, I just looked up and saw Alex waving and open," Kienitz said. "It just takes concentration to make that kind of pass. It felt amazing getting (the goal) and it's nice to be a part of the win."
The Lakers jumped up on the Comets early, as senior Tony Carlson tapped a long ball from about 35 yards out with the wind. The ball dipped in just over the out-stretched hands of the Comet goalie for the 1-0 advantage, which lasted into halftime.
DL had the wind in the first half and wanted a more of a cushion heading into the second half, with the wind benefiting Hillcrest.
"We were saying we wanted one or two more goals in that first half, because we were sick of hearing 'it's not enough' after losing leads to our last couple of opponents," said DL head coach Justin Wegleitner. "We wanted to keep the momentum on our side, but we only had that 1-0 halftime lead."
Hillcrest capitalized on the wind, converting back-to-back goals for the 2-1 lead and yet another blown advantage for the Lakers.
And it didn't go unnoticed.
"Initially when the ball goes in the net, it knocks the wind out of you," Kienitz said. "But we had to shut all doubts out."
That doubt was shed with 4:20 left in the game, when DL pushed three guys high on the attack and left just three defensemen back to defend.
One minute after that switch was made, the Lakers made a charge on the Hillcrest net, as freshman attacker Luke Payne broke open right and made a header pass to Kienitz, who was open on the left of the net.
With the Hillcrest goalie focused on Payne, Kienitz headed Payne's pass right out of the air and into nylon for the 2-2 tie.
"That was huge, I was just ecstatic," Kienitz added. "I had no feelings when I saw (Payne's) pass, everything just slowed down."
The win gives the Lakers a 6-9-1 regular season record, which more than likely will earn them a No. 5 seed in the upcoming Section 8-1A playoffs.
But the fact the Lakers held on for the win against the Comets, who are 9-6 on the season, gives DL good momentum and more importantly, confidence.
"We are happy about not giving another lead away, and this will be a huge confidence booster for the boys heading into playoffs," Wegleitner said.
Seeding will be announced early next week, with the play-in game Thursday and the quarterfinals at the high seed starting Saturday.