OSKALOOSA — A couple of former Little Hawkeye foes duked it out on a windy night at Drost Field. Neither team was able to pull away from one another as Oskaloosa came away with the 2-1 victory.
Oskaloosa had the wind in the first half and didn’t take long for them to take advantage of it.
The Indians drew a great free kick opportunity less than two minutes into the contest. Carson Genskow would take the kick and hit it low but it would bounce off the left post and out.
Just two minutes later, Genskow would push up the right side before crossing it in to an open Ethan Olivias who stuck his right foot up and tipped the volley past Knoxville keeper Carson Irving for the opening goal.
Oskaloosa continued to have good pressure for the first part of the half but Knoxville was able to limit the dangerous opportunities much better in the latter parts of the opening 40 minutes.
The Panthers would push back late and in the dying seconds of the half they would send the ball into the Osky box. In a scramble situation, Knoxville’s Jay Kellar was able to kick a foot on the ball and chip it past a diving Landon Briggs for a backbreaking tying goal with four seconds left in the half.
Knoxville grabbed momentum heading into the half and were going to have the wind in the second half. The wind ended up dying down as the night went on and the Panthers lost a bit of that advantage.
Oskaloosa got back to their solid play with solid defense in the back, good passes in the midfield and smart runs from their forwards.
About midway through the half, Olivas was battling for the ball just outside the Knoxville box. Olivas would get a good boot on it towards the net but a Knoxville defender got a piece of it. Irving would charge out of his net to grab the ball but it had some funky spin on it that caught him by surprise as it hopped over him and into the net to give the Indians the lead.
For Olivas, it was his second goal of the night and his team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Knoxville would have to push back but were unable to get any sustained pressure outside of a couple of good looks that either missed or were saved by Briggs.
Oskaloosa kept their foot on the pedal and nearly added an insurance marker late in the game as Brennan Mason’s shots were saved and one rang off the bar.
Time would run out as the Indians claimed their third one-goal win of the season while Knoxville suffered their second one-goal loss.
The Indians outshot the Panthers 13-4 in the contest as Briggs had three saves for Osky while Irving would have 11 saves.
Oskaloosa (6-5) hosts Chariton (2-7) on Monday at 7 p.m. while Knoxville (6-5) travels to Grinnell (5-2) on Friday at 5 p.m.