District #4 soccer kicked off with a bang Thursday as Loy Norrix edged crosstown rival Kalamazoo Central 4-3 after overtime, pushing the Knights to Wednesday’s semifinal against Lakeview.
The rematch was expected to be a tight one, as their regular season duel was a 2-2 draw back in September. In the postseason, there must be a winner and extra time was needed Thursday. Loy Norrix never had the lead in regulation, finally going ahead on a 30-yard missile from freshman Anthony Herrera in the first overtime period.
Listen back to the goal as it happened:
Most of the scoring came midway through the first half. Colin Halloran opened things for the Maroon Giants on an eighth minute goal from about 20 yards out. The Knights matched 87 seconds later as quick passing by Hank Perkins and Carter Scheel delivered the ball to Jose Vargas near the six, tying the match in the ninth minute.
In the 18th minute, Kalamazoo Central went back ahead on a Paulo Alcala goal. Just over four minutes later, Scheel matched it to tie the game at 2-2. Then in the 24th minute, the Maroon Giants were awarded a penalty kick due to a hand-ball. Halloran buried the PK for a 3-2 K-Central lead, which held until midway through the second half.
In the 60th minute, Nate Goodwin-Kelly delivered the ball from midfield to Scheel, who found an opening through two defenders at the edge of the box and scored at the near post. The game remained tied at 3-3 through the remainder of regulation and through the first eight minutes of the first overtime.
Unofficially, K-Central won shots-on-goal 12-7, but five saves by LN goalkeeper Carlos Santos, plus two saves by defenders and one by reserve keeper Lucas Figueroa during an injury spell kept the game even. KC’s Ryan Talanda unofficially had two saves.
With 1:57 left in the first overtime, Herrera scored the clincher from about 30 yards out, fitting it just underneath the crossbar and just over the leaping Talanda. Once ahead, the Knights were able to bleed out the final 12 minutes and secure their first postseason soccer win since 2014.
Kalamazoo Central closes the season at 12-8-2 and graduates seniors Daniel Camilli, Moayyad Tayara, Giancarlo Comer, Paulo Alcala, Tyler Eisenhauer, Luis Maldonado, Nick Pyne, Collin Bertch, Ali Hussein, and Lukas Bolton.
Loy Norrix improves to 8-5-4 with the win and travels to Battle Creek to face Lakeview in Wednesday’s semifinal at 5 p.m. The Knights hope to avenge a 4-1 loss suffered against the Spartans from September. For the full list of scores and schedules from area district matches, head here.