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Scoreless Class 2 sectional game turns against Perryville soccer team in shootout
IMPERIAL, Mo. -- With every shot deflected, every shot high or wide, every shot saved, the chances of Perryville winning Tuesday night's Class 2 boys soccer state tournament sectional grew dimmer.
And when Windsor goaltender Alex Trenary smothered Nate Kinnison's straight-on kick in the first round of the second set of penalty kicks, it was the Owls who advanced to the state quarterfinals.
Perryville, in only its fifth season of soccer, ended the year at 17-7-1 with a district title their consolation prize.
"We've got nothing to be ashamed of," Pirates coach Jerry Fulton said. "We left a ton of opportunities out there. I thought that we had more opportunities by far [in regulation], we just couldn't get one to go in."
Fulton's assessment was a gross understatement. The Pirates finished with 31 shots, peppering Trenary with shot after shot. But the Owls' sophomore keeper was up to the task, notching 19 saves, not including his two huge stops in the shootout.
"Penalty kicks, I figured it would be anybody's game at that point," Fulton said. "Our fifth shooter, unfortunately, came up a bit short."
Trenary came up with key saves throughout the night, penalty kicks notwithstanding.
"I felt fine ... scary, nervous, nervewracking," he said about heading into the shootout. "I was calm."
Neither team scored in 90 minutes of regulation and two 15-minute overtime sessions. The first round of the shootout ended 4-4, with only Windsor's Sean Fitzgerald and Perryville's Kyle Wood getting blanked. Fitzgerald fired wide right as the second shooter, and Trenary dived to his left to save Wood's low roller in the fifth slot.
In the first shot of the second round, Windsor's Matt Brotherton fired a rocket into the upper right corner of the net, setting up Trenary's game-winning save.
"I just watch where their [shooting] foot's going," Trenary said about his game plan. "You just gotta hope where you dive, that's where the ball is."
In the first round, Perryville's Luke Schlichting, Alex Thieret, Austin Roth and Matthew Moran scored, with Trenary getting both hands on Moran's blast before it settled into the back of the net.
"That first shot was higher," Trenary said. "The next one was a little lower and I was able to stop it."
Windsor coach George Van Dyke knew his team stole one on its own turf.
"You can't deny Perryville was a better team," he said. "They overloaded the weak side on us, and they just peppered us and peppered us. They were getting in behind us the whole night.
"[Trenary] just saved our butt. He won us a district title, and now he's won us a sectional."
As delighted as Windsor (12-11-1) was with the win, that's how devastated the Pirates were. Unable to capitalize on numerous opportunities throughout, especially in the second half and both overtimes, cost the Pirates dearly.
"We had the ball sitting on the line a couple times and didn't follow up," said Roth, a midfielder who saw his shots either miss the mark or get smothered by Trenary. "You've just got to finish, and we didn't."
Time after time, Perryville outraced Windsor to balls in the corners and crossed to the net, but the Owls either cleared the pass or the Pirates' shots were off the mark. When they did find the goal, Trenary was equal to the challenge.
At one point in the second half, Perryville missed seven chances in a span of 10 minutes. Roth one-timed a corner kick off his right foot that went just over the crossbar; Kinnison fired a shot off a cross that went high; Nick Pingel crossed to Roth, whose shot was blocked by Trenary, the ball spinning on the ground a yard from the goal line before being cleared; Kyle Thieret's header off a Wood cross was saved by Trenary; Kyle Thieret found Schlichting with a pass, but Schlichting's point-blank roller from 12 yards out found a diving Trenary; Pingel crossed a header to Alex Thieret, who found Pablo Mattingly, whose shot was partially blocked before rolling to Kyle Thieret, who shot high; and finally a corner skipped through to Schlichting, whose roller to the corner of the net was saved again by Trenary.
In the final seconds of regulation, Roth shot to the corner of the net, but a sprawling Trenary made the save, and the Owls' defense cleared the loose ball.
"We kept getting the corner, that's always our plan," said senior Perryville defenseman Karsten Lowman. "We had a couple real close ones. We just got unlucky."
For Roth, one of seven seniors on the roster, the disappointment will fade, but the memories of what this team accomplished will stay with him forever.
"Coming in, a lot of us as freshmen played some varsity," he said. "To come up and surpass what was done before, it shows the young players they've got to keep growing, keep getting better."
"It's disheartening we didn't get to finish," Fulton added. "Unfortunately, it just was not our night."