Rams boys soccer wins physical challenge
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.
To say the Eastside boys soccer team had to grind out its 2-0 win over North Marion in Wednesday night's District 5-3A semifinal, would be an understatement.
The Rams were able to clinch their fourth straight regional playoff appearance and advance to Friday night's district title match against Belleview.
But Eastside had a tough time, not scoring in the first half while battling the Colts in what was an extremely physical affair at Citizens Field.
“I would definitely say we were a little flat, when you have beaten a team handily twice, 6-0, 6-1, it is tough,” Eastside coach Ron Messick said. “I think North Marion is better than the results we had the previous times. Those two factors combined, it was a little tougher match than we expected.”
Messick also said that this was the most physical match his team has played all season. North Marion received six yellow cards and a pair of red cards in what was a win-or-go-home scenario for both clubs.
After a scoreless first half, James Davis got the Rams on the scoreboard in the 50th minute. He headed in a pass from Alex Fethiere just over the Colts leaping goalkeeper Jose Trujillo (12 saves). Both teams continued to go back and forth.
Eastside iced the game in the 74th minute when Tyler Miller-Jones also headed in a corner kick from Tucker Mastin.
The Rams controlled the ball for most of the second half and outshot the Colts, 14-1 on the night.
But about five minutes before Eastside's last goal, North Marion's Jesse Lopez was issued a red card after getting tangled with Fethiere, who was also given a yellow card. Lopez was telling the official that he was being grabbed by the back of the head. A short time later, Lopez had to be forcibly restrained as he made his way toward the Rams bench.
The game returned to action after a short delay. However when the game was over, the Colts players initially refused, but did eventually shake hands with the Eastside players.
“It was definitely a grind-it-out game because it became a physically played game instead of more of a technical game,” Messick said. “I am proud of them. Sometimes you have to win them ugly, but a win is a win to me.”
The Colts, who were looking for their first ever regional playoff appearance, end the season at 5-8-1.
“Yes, it was the most physical game of the year,” North Marion coach Luis Alva said. “I think we did a good job tonight. What happened on the field is because soccer is like that, but we never had to do something wrong against the other team.”