Middle Park soccer team battles Bennett to 3-3 tie
Sky-Hi Daily News
The boys soccer game between Middle Park High and Bennett on Saturday, Sept. 27, turned into a bruising but indecisive contest.
After the 80 minutes of regulation play ended, the score was tied 3-3. Despite a couple overtime periods, neither team was able to score. It was the Panthers’ first tied game of the season.
“It was a very, very physical game from the get-go,” said coach Shawn McElroy. “The way that they were pressuring us forced us to get out of our style of play.”
Bennett’s aggressive attack quickly paid off after the game began. Its players scored two goals in the opening minutes of the first half before Middle Park’s players really caught on to what was happening.
As the play moved past the midway point of the first half, the Panthers finally got a break. Elliott Levett, a junior, made a free kick that scored and cut down Bennett’s lead by one point.
Before the first half ended, Middle Park caught another break when the Panthers attempted a corner kick. As the ball sailed toward the net, a Bennett defender got in front of it first. Unfortunately for him but luckily for Middle Park, the ball ricocheted off his body and flew into Bennett’s net to score the tying goal for the Panthers.
After half time ended, Bennett resumed their attack and quickly broke the 2-2 tie.
They scored on a breakaway about five minutes into the second half.
It looked as if Bennett was headed for 3-2 win as the two teams continued to battle back and forth across the field as the game clock ticked down.
The decisive play finally came with less then 10 minutes left. Panther junior Jordan Lenhard, a reserve player who had just come into the game five minutes before, was right in front of Bennett’s goal when the cross kick was made. He blasted the ball into the net for the tying score.
“Jordan always works so hard and Saturday was his best game of the season,” McElroy said. “He brought that cross kick down and put the ball into the back of the net for us. He was our stand-out player of the game.”
Despite two five-minute overtime periods, neither team was able to break the 3-3 tie.
“We had a couple of chances late in the game to win it,” McElroy said. “Joey Coucke had a header that bounced off the cross bar of the goal just at the end of regulation play. Also, Robert Johnson made a great volley that was just a foot off the post.”
Bennett’s players were physically aggressive for the entire game, earning a large number of penalties including seven yellow cards and one red card for “rough play.”
One of their players was ejected from the game after being yellow carded twice.
“I have to commend our players because they never lost their composure despite how physical Bennett was playing,” McElroy said. “Everybody worked hard and never quit. It was one of those bloody battles where you come away with a tie.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Fitness Trail: Avoiding the dreaded holiday five to seven with 10 tips for a happier, healthier season
Every year the average American gains five to seven pounds between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day.