In the varsity soccer team’s second meeting against the Elder Panthers and fifth overall GCL match, they were able to able to bring home a thrilling 3-2 victory. The game was played at the Panther Athletic Complex on Tuesday under a beautiful October night. Playing in front of many excited fans, the two teams made sure not to disappoint.
Both teams played a fairly relaxed first half with the Bombers striking first. Just over four minutes into the game, junior Craig Wellens kicked one into an open net after a botched save by the goalie. While St. Xavier would have a few more chances during the remainder of the half, Elder seemed to have the upper hand. Bomber senior goalkeeper Lucas Marshall made a few fantastic saves including one in which he cut off a loose Panther on a breakaway. He forced the shot to be missed wide right keeping the score 1-0 with ten minutes left to be played in the first half. Then, with five minutes to go in the half, Elder was finally able to squeak one through to tie the game. This caused the game to go into halftime tied at one goal apiece.
Both teams came out for the second half with a newfound sense of urgency. Unfortunately, just two minutes into the half, two Bomber players collided causing a stoppage in play. Senior Adam Arar and Junior Will Bronsel were the players involved. Arar was able to limp off the field and would return shortly. Bronsel, on the other hand, needed help getting to the
sideline and would not return to the game. The remaining 38 minutes were much more exciting than the previous 42 minutes. Only a few minutes after the injury, Elder stormed down field looking to take the lead. After getting past Marshall, they seemed to have a open net to make the score 2-1. But senior defenseman Bailey Lach was there to save the day. He blocked the shot and kept the game tied. Only two minutes later, with momentum starting to shift the Bombers way, junior Gino Geiser put the ball into the back of the net. The goal came after senior Will Watkins sliced through the defense, dribbling the ball past the goalie, and crossing it to Geiser to make the score 2-1 St Xavier. Six minutes later, Elder responded with a stunning shot from outside the box. The ball flew just past the goalkeeper’s outstretched arms tying the match 2-2 with 22 riveting minutes left. The boys in blue controlled the rest of the game. After many solid opportunities including a few corner kicks, Geiser was able to score his second of the game. The goal came after a nice give and go between himself and fellow junior Wellens. The scoreboard was changed for the last time that night leaving Bombers with a 3-2 victory.
The win keeps the Bombers in second place in the GCL standings with a strong 2-1-2 record (7 points). Moeller clinched the title on Tuesday night so the team’s hopes of winning the GCL have come to an end. Their overall record is now 6-4-4. This gives them a good chance to make the state tournament and hopefully make a strong run their. The Varsity Bombers will play Centerville on Saturday at 11am followed by senior night, and the regular season finale, against LaSalle on Tuesday. The team will look to continue to add onto their winning streak and finish the season strong in hopes of gaining momentum for a late season tournament run.