Lack of overtime session catches some on Notre Dame sideline by surprise

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Notre Dame players hold up a trophy after tying Helias in the Class 2 third-place game Saturday at the Anheuser-Busch Center in Fenton, Mo. (Kit Doyle)

Jake Pewitt had experience with sharing the state third-place trophy

FENTON, Mo. -- The cheers celebrating their team's late goal died down and the buzz of anticipation hanging in the air around the Notre Dame student section floated away into the fall afternoon.

The Notre Dame soccer team had just tied the Class 2 third-place game at 2-2 a few minutes before and most of the students were finding out for the first time, from the public address announcer, that the score would remain tied, that there would be two third-place winners.

Amid a few vocal displays of displeasures and one half-hearted round of boos, the Notre Dame players were awarded third-place medals and the fourth-place state trophy while their opponent Helias was handed fourth-place medals and the third-place trophy.

"I wasn't too happy about it," Notre Dame senior Jake Pewitt said. "I had no idea there was no overtime. I just wanted to play until we were done."

A feeling of deja vu he'd rather have not had came over him.

"I said, 'Oh man, we tied again for third,'" he said.

While this was the first time Pewitt and his soccer teammates finished a final four game in a tie, he had been part of a third-place tie with the baseball team as a sophomore when the 2008 Class 3 third-place game got rained out.

Sophomore Jonathan Lynch thought he recalled the Bulldogs playing in overtime during the third-place game last season, an unfortunately incorrect remembrance.

"I thought we were going to play overtime because last year I thought they played overtime, but I wasn't for sure," Lynch said. "I was hoping we were going to play overtime."

Senior Joe Froemsdorf said he heard before the game that there would be no overtime sessions and Notre Dame coach Brad Wittenborn, a veteran of many soccer final fours, was not surprised or disappointed.

"There's no overtime during the third-place game," Wittenborn said. "I did know that. Both teams played yesterday and both teams played hard yesterday, so fatigue starts to become a factor and you can get injuries."

He learned this first hand.

"In 2002, we had to go four overtimes in a championship game where we played the night before and we ended up with a fairly serious injury that might have happened anyway, but I think fatigue was a factor," Wittenborn said.

Wittenborn also said the tie allowed all players to walk off the field knowing that they had accomplished something.

"It's not an all-together bad thing that a third-place game ends in a tie because [Helias] played their hearts out and are good kids and we played our hearts out," he said. "So both of them can walk away feeling like they went out and did something today and that's a good thing."

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