Kewps miss OT chances, tumble in penalty kicks.
By Matt Harris
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Photo by Don Shrubshell
Camdenton’s Jeron Sinclair scored in the 52nd minute in a game against Hickman Tuesday night. Rayder Bennett pictured. The Lakers went on to win the game 2-1 (3-1 penalty kicks). Photo Caption..
George Plakorus gazed as his penalty kick swung wide of the right post, turned on his heel and trudged towards his teammates at midfield.
The miss marked the bottom of a slow descent for the Hickman senior forward in a 2-1 loss to Camdenton after a 3-1 result on penalty kicks.
Three minutes earlier, Plakorus stutter-stepped and buried a shot that appeared to even the score at 2 on penalty kicks after the teams grappled to a 1-1 draw through two overtimes.
The stutter-step was the problem.
Under state rules, a player that stops his forward movement before striking a kick must attempt it again. After a brief conference, officials ruled that Plakorus halted and made him take another try.
“Apparently, you can’t interrupt your motion,” he said. “I didn’t stop. I kept moving forward. It’s a legal kick.”
Two kicks later, senior Matt Baker clanked a shot off the cross bar, giving the Lakers the win.
The gaffe was a cruel turn for Plakorus, who tied the game on his first goal of the season in the 76th minute of regulation after collecting a punt by Kewpies goalie Chuck Wilson, dribbling to his left and booting a low line drive past a splaying Ryan Moriearty from 18 yards out.
“It’s kind of late,” Plakorus said of the goal, “but better late than never, right?”
Hickman Coach Adam Taylor agreed with the bittersweet assessment.
“That was a great lift for us,” he said. “It was something the seniors needed for senior night. I didn’t want them to lose. Unfortunately, that’s what happened.”
Aside from Plakorus’ strike, Hickman (9-8-2) struggled to capitalize on its scoring chances against a team whose defensive tactics provided Taylor’s club with ample opportunities.
On two occasions, forward Connor Hollrah had the makings of an easy tally but couldn’t close the account.
His best chance came in the 35th minute, when Baker found room behind the Lakers’ pressing backs and swerved a cross onto Hollrah’s foot 7 yards in front of the net. The junior put too much behind his attempt and sent it sailing over the top of the net.
“They were leaving our wings,” Taylor said of his team’s offensive woes. “Their backs were pushing up too far, and we weren’t taking advantage of that. We’ve got to do better at that. It’s going to be tough to win games 1-0 at this level.”
Hickman’s backline faced a strain of its own: an opportunistic Lakers’ counterattack that lobbed in long balls and sent Matt Norris and Jeron Sinclair rushing forward to lead the onslaught.
“Their game plan was just kick and run,” Wilson said. “It’s hard to get the ball when they’re just coming over your head. We were trying to keep it in front of us as much as we could.”
Problems clearing the ball from the penalty area and leaving ample space between the midfield and backline finally converged in the 52nd minute.
Wilson bobbled a pass back from defender Logan Forsythe at the top of the penalty box after a long boot from Camdenton. As Wilson tried to snare the ball, Norris swooped in, took it off Wilson’s hands and slipped it into the back of the net to put Camdenton ahead 1-0.
“I had my hand on the ball,” Wilson said,” and they just kicked it out of my hand. I thought it should have been a call.”
After Plakorus knotted the score, Hickman seized control of the action in extra time, choking up the midfield with bodies and sending charge after charge towards the Lakers’ net.
Baker bulled his way into the box, getting off a shot that was turned aside in the 86th minute and set up a corner kick. On the corner, a rebound found its way onto Plakorus’ foot only to be sent wide right.
While his team filed off the pitch, Taylor said the loss served as an example of what can happen if a team doesn’t seize on the good fortune it creates.
“That’s the kind of team that’s going to beat you on the counterattack, and that’s exactly what happened,” he said. “You can never trust the PK system, so you got to beat a team like that in regulation.”
This article was published on page B3 of the Wednesday, October 28, 2009 edition of The Columbia Daily Tribune. Click here to Subscribe.