Eagle Boys Tie Knights
When Tyler Consolidated and the Magnolia Blue Eagle boys’ soccer teams meet, it usually is a battle to the end before a winner emerges. However, after 80 minutes of outstanding hard-nose soccer, the score stood a 3-3 in Middlebourne on Burgbacher Field, Sept. 22. (The old Tyler High School football field in Middlebourne.)
The Silver Knights jumped out to a 2-1 halftime lead, thanks in part to a pair of goals by Justin Cooper. Spencer Kinnard and Mack Haught aided the Cooper goals with outstanding assists.
The Magnolia lone first half goal came off the foot of Columbian exchange student Juan Carlos Ramos, assisted by a Chase Cain pass.
The intense and rough first half continued into the second half, where four yellow cards were issued. The Knights challenged the Magnolia defense with multiple shots on goal. However, the duo of Blue Eagles Mike Jones and Evan Heslop turned away 44 shots at the keeper position. MHS sweeper Jason Long and defenders Daniel Mateer and Andrew Stackpole helped the keepers with outstanding non-goalie saves throughout the night.
The Knight defense got whistled for holding Ramos on the 18, giving the Eagles a chance to knot the game at the 23 minute mark of the second half. Ramos made the Silver Knights pay with a devastating direct kick that sailed by the out-stretched hands of Tyler keeper Skylar Kinnard to bring the hotly contested match to a 2-2 tie.
Both Tyler and Magnolia had their chances to score, but the Eagles took their first lead a few moments later. Off a pass from Long, Ramos riffled a shot off Skylar Kinnard’s hands that caromed off the goal post for a save. However, the Eagles’ Ethan Arman was Johnny-on-the-spot and quickly guided the soccer ball into the net for a Magnolia 3-2 advantage.
The score looked to hold up, but somebody forgot to tell the Knights. With only a few minutes remaining in the match, Tyler’s Spencer Kinnard launched a rocket towards the goal off a corner kick and Giovanni Forner dos Santos belted the ball past keeper Jones and the feet of sweeper Long to knot the game at three.
The Knights kept up the pressure, pounding shot after shot toward the goal, but Jones and the MHS defense shut the door on any further scoring in what was a fine soccer match.
On Sept. 24 at the Eagle Hydro Field, Monroe Central defeated Magnolia 7-4. The ‘Noles took a 3-0 lead early in the first half but the Eagles retaliated with a Ramos goal with an assist by Arman.
However, the Seminoles added two more goals to push the lop-sided score to 5-1 at the break.
Central scored the opening goal of the second half to take a 6-1 lead. But, Ramos took a Jason Long break-away pass and outran Monroe defenders to reduce the Central lead to four.
Later, Ramos took a lead pass from Chase Cain, but was held in the box and rewarded with a penalty kick. Ramos again swished the cords for a hat-trick to cut the Monroe lead to 6-3. Central also was rewarded a penalty kick, but Jones swatted it away to keep the score unchanged.
Late in the second half, Monroe Central got another penalty kick on an inadvertent handball just inside the box. Jones attempted to block the shot, but it grazed off his fingers to make it 7-3 in favor of the visitors.
Magnolia scored its final tally late in the game as Ramos took a kick from Jones at the keeper position and drove the ball down field, slipping by numerous Central defenders before blasting his fourth goal.
Jones and Evan Heslop combined for 16 saves.
Earlier in the season, the Eagles lost a close one, 2-1, against Oak Glen. Ramos scored the Eagles’ lone goal off a penalty kick. Jones had 16 saves in the game. In another contest, Indian Creek prevailed over the Eagles 4-1 as Ramos booted Magnolia’s lone goal with an assist by Long. Jones had 16 saves for Magnolia.
The Eagles will host North Marion at Hydro Soccer Field on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.