The first Hayes-Orange boys soccer match of 2011 was for the league standings. Saturday’s match was to keep their seasons alive, and both fought like the devil to keep their 2011 campaigns going.
Both the Pacers and Pioneers battled through two halves without denting the net, but Orange’s Alec Binger scored off a pass from Jake Anderson just over four minutes into the second overtime, and the Pioneers advanced to district play with a 1-0 victory over Hayes Saturday night at Pioneer Field.
“We told them, from the end of regulation on, ‘Who’s going to step up and make a play,’” Orange coach Scott Bryant said. “Luckily, we had Alec get a great ball in from Jake, and he finished it, but it was a battle. Delaware was tough to break down, tough to get around, and we were happy to finally get one in.”
“I’m very proud of how the boys played tonight for the season we’ve had,” Hayes coach Nate Weakland said. “It’s been a little up and down and we’ve had trouble with Orange in the past, but the boys played extremely well, and you can’t ask for much more than that.”
There was plenty of action in the opening half, but no goals. Both teams had five shots each, but only four shots combined made the goal area, three by Orange (8-5-4) and one by Hayes (6-11-1).
“That’s been kind of our thing all year, not only creating chances but finishing them,” Bryant said. “They way they play their defense, with such a high line, we were offside quite a bit trying to push the line.”
Defense was the name of the game throughout the match.
“Our defense and our goalkeepers do a pretty solid job making sure they don’t get anything easy,” Bryant said. “When we slipped and lost our marks, they got some good chances, but we have (junior) Zach (Arefi) and (sophomore keeper) Jared (Rieger) back there to clean it up.”
“I thought we played very well defensively,” Weakland said. “Noah and Luke did a great job back there and our outside back held their own, and both our keepers, (junior) Andrew (Ward) and (junior) Tommy (Gibbs) did a great job tonight.”
Both teams picked up the attacks in the second half, with Orange earning the first solid chances, including two on a pair of corner kicks from Anderson to senior Brad Haney, who headed both toward goal only to see one go wide and the other high.
Hayes pressured on the Orange side and got chances later, including a takeaway and shot by senior Jordan Carlson that went just wide, and a Spahr shot that Orange senior defender Jake Gabbert made a sliding save on to keep the game scoreless.
“Our midfield started to run things for us, which is good for us, and our backs started to push into the play,” Weakland said. “Those are the things we’ve been talking about all year, and fortunately, they brought it for us in the tournament. It was nice to finally see it come together.”
The Pioneers got off the only two shots on goal of the first overtime session, both of which were easily saved by Gibbs, and Hayes was first to attack in the second overtime, but another Spahr attempt went wide.
Less than two minutes later, Orange ended the nearly 100-minute match, when Anderson dropped a ball onto the right side, where Binger ran the ball down, drove into the 18 and sent his shot by Gibbs into the lower left corner.
“We’ve been trying to get our forwards out wide and get balls in at angles where they can cut in and go to the goal, and finally one worked,” Bryant said. “We were able to get it in and not be offside. It was a great ball and a great finish.”
Orange held a slight 15-14 edge in total shots, but an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal. Orange also had six corner kicks to Hayes’ three.
Arefi, who started the first half, and Rieger, who played the second half and overtime periods, combined for the shutout win, Rieger making three saves and Arefi one.
Ward and Gibbs both played solid games for Hayes, and both finished with five saves.