June 5, 2014

Indians lose to Chiefs in regional semifinal


To paraphrase a popular saying by the late NFL coach Bum Phllips: This year the Oskaloosa girls soccer team beat on the door. Maybe next year, the Indians will kick the door in.
For much of the school’s existence in girls soccer, Oskaloosa had not done well on the pitch.
This season, they came within a two wins of making it to the state tournament after falling to Keokuk 6-5 Tuesday night at Calvert Stadium in a Class 2A regional semifinal.
The Indians close the season at 8-10 while the Chiefs (15-3) go to fifth-ranked Pleasant Valley Monday night for a spot in the state tournament.
Oskaloosa coach Greg Walter was confident his squad could upset the Chiefs, saying the Indians match up well with their opponents.
He also said playing on a slightly smaller field could benefit his team as well.
He was right on both counts.
In a game that resembled an indoor soccer match, the teams traded goals almost at will, combining for 11 goals on the night.
Oskaloosa apparently tied the game at 6 as Jackie Reif kicked the ball past Keokuk goalkeeper Malorie Maerz with less than 3 minutes remaining.
But the head official called the Indians for a hand ball, nullifying the tying goal.
Still, the Indians finished one of their most successful season ever and Walter had nothing but praised for the team.
“What a game. It was a hard-fought battle,” he said. “We came back, they came back, we came back. I can’t say enough for the effort the girls gave. 
“Six years ago, we barely had enough room for a JV team. The program is going in the right direction.”
Neither team could take control of the match as they traded the first four goals of the night.
Oskaloosa’s Sarandyn Curtis, one of four seniors appearing in their final match, tied the match at 2 when she lofted a shot over Maerz’s head at the 19:25 mark.

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