Soccer opens up with thrilling victory

Soccer opens up with thrilling victory

Michael Ruzicka is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game winning goal Friday night. photo credit: tiger paw

The varsity boys soccer team started their season in dramatic fashion last Friday night (Aug. 30) with a 1-0 overtime victory over O’Fallon at Oakville’s Rodger Estes Stadium.

Midfielder Michael Ruzicka (12) scored with just three minutes left in overtime to give the Tigers the win. With great defensive play from Justin Pike (11) and an outstanding performance by senior goalkeeper Eddie McInerney, the Tigers were able to post the shutout.

The game was back and forth throughout both the first and second halves with early chances coming from both teams. Senior forward Jake Dodge put a shot into the outside side netting while O’fallon struck the post. Both teams had their chances but neither were able to capitalize. The stalemate continued into the second half with neither teams finding the back of the net. Overtime was on the way.

The first overtime consisted of more back and forth action with neither team able to find the back of the net. The second overtime was a little more interesting. Knowing that a single goal would end the game both teams made pushes towards goal. With time ticking down and thoughts of penalty kicks hanging over their heads, both teams entered into desperation mode.

“We didn’t want to go into penalty kicks because they’re always a toss up” senior captain Nick Makowski said.

Finally, with three minutes on the clock, Dodge slid a pass across the six yard box that found the foot of Ruzicka, who buried the game winner.

“We knew we needed the win” Ruzicka said, “we really wanted to start the season off right.”

The Oakville soccer program has a great winning tradition and the expectations are always high. After not even being put “on the bubble” of the soccer rankings, the Tigers have a lot to prove. The win on Friday night is definitely a step in the right direction.