Central, Jackson end in soccer deadlock

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Central's Asad Malik, right, stopped Jackson's Matt Mueller with a slide tackle during the first half of Tuesday's game at Cape Girardeau Central High School. (Don Frazier)

The visiting Indians forced overtime with a late goal.

The Central boys soccer team controlled possession in Tuesday's home game against rival Jackson, while the Indians had the better of the scoring chances.

In the end, neither team could claim victory, as Jackson used a last-minute goal in regulation to help send the teams off the field after 100 minutes with a 2-2 tie.

"I was pleased with our performance," Jackson coach Zack Walton said. "The boys played hard. I thought they kept their composure, because Cape-Jackson games can get out of control. I thought they kept their heads in the game and battled to the end, and it paid off for us."

While this rivalry has traditionally favored the Tigers (4-4-2), Jackson (6-2-3) struck in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Brian Davidson found himself one-on-one with a Central defender at the top of the box after taking a feed from Spencer McCormack. Davidson beat the defender, then slipped the ball by goalkeeper Clayton Uptain, who came out to challenge the Jackson player.

"Our boys came out and played really hard right off the bat," Walton said. "We had a lot of good opportunities to score."

It took a little luck to get the momentum going Central's way. Cole Viers sent a ball into the goal box. A Jackson defender missed on a clearing attempt and the ball bounced over the goalie's head and into the net.

With just less than 10 minutes left in the half, Zach Zaruba, from deep outside the box, put the Tigers ahead when he rocketed a shot just inside the post and out of the reach of Jackson goalie Justin Darnell.

Brooks Osburn assisted on the goal.

"That was a good shot," Walton said. "Then Cape picked it up from there. I thought they played with a little more intensity, and then it was a battle from there."

In the second half, Uptain made one save after another to keep the Tigers ahead.

Jackson finally found a way to beat Uptain in the final minutes of the game. Davidson was able to get free deep inside the box, getting off a shot that Uptain deflected into the post. Chris Crossett deposited the carom to knot the score at 2-2. Uptain was hurt on the play and had to leave the game.

"I said before he got hurt, that's the best game he's played all year," Central coach Tom Doyle said.

Jackson had the majority of the offensive chances in the first overtime, although the Tigers were never really threatened.

The second overtime saw Darnell make a leaping save off a free kick with 3 minutes left to preserve the tie. Central had another free kick with about a minute left which produced a dangerous shot.

"I just told the players after the game, 'We played 78 minutes, and you have to play 80,'" Doyle said.

Central will be back in action Friday when Springfield Glendale visits. Glendale is ranked 15th in Class 3 in the initial Missouri Soccer Coaches top 15 poll. The Tigers beat Glendale 1-0 on the road last year.

Jackson is back in action today at home against Farmington.

The junior varsity game ended in a 1-1 tie.

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