BOYS SOCCER: CLASS 2A REGIONAL FINALS
Eastside stung by Bishop Moore
Published: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 11:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 12:22 a.m.
Eastside's quest for its first state tournament in boys soccer in 15 years will have to wait another season, although when Tyler Miller-Jones kicked in the Rams' only goal Friday night in the 59th minute, the dream seemed a real possibility.
After all, Eastside had shut out Orlando Bishop Moore for 62 minutes at Citizens Field. But within a five-minute span, the Hornets completely turned around the Region 2-2A final.
Bishop Moore got goals from Sebastian Hincapie and Arturo Ydrach to rally the Hornets to a 2-1 win to advance to its first state tournament since 2001 and hand Eastside a third straight regional final setback.
“I feel bad for the guys,” said Rams coach Ron Messick. “When the dust settles, it is quite an accomplishment. But when you are here, I thought we had opportunities.”
Miller-Jones' goal came just before the second-half water break. But after the break, Bishop Moore, which had missed on several scoring opportunities all night, started to find success.
Hincapie, who scored the winning overtime goal to beat Lake Highland Prep in the regional semifinals, took control of the ball after it hit off the shoulder of teammate David Shafer, kicking it over Eastside goalkeeper Cody Peterson's head for a score.
But the Rams (20-7) immediately complained to officials about the kick, raising their hands to indicate they believed a hand was used in the score. But the officials weren't listening.
“Every guy lifted their hand because the guy that scored lifted the ball over Cody's head with his hand because Cody was going to grab it,” Messick said. “He lifted it over with his hand and into the goal. Neither refs saw it, so it stands as a goal.”
“I didn't see that,” contends Bishop Moore coach Tom Hage. “There is no way anyone can say that but the referees.”
The winning kick came just a few minutes later. Shafer, the Hornets' leading scorer during the season, had a penalty kick in front of the goal, but Peterson stopped it. The ball, however, ricocheted off Peterson's leg back into play and Ydrach quickly ran up and kicked it over the Eastside goalkeeper.
“The penalty kick, that just happens,” Messick said. “It was unlucky. But it had been consistent with a lot of other calls. Sometimes you don't get those calls. They can go either way.
“I felt after we scored that first goal we had a little bit of momentum, but when they scored, we lost it a little bit. They have 25 wins, they didn't get that way without knowing how to compete. I thought we defended it well. We just didn't get the call.”
With the win, Bishop Moore (25-4-1) advances to the state semifinals on Wednesday in Melbourne where it will take on Tampa Berkeley Prep.
“I thought we let down when they got their goal,” Hage said. “When we got the water break at 18:32, heads were down, we tried to get their spirits up. We got a quick one after the water break, and set up for the good end. I thought if we got the first goal we could get the second one, and luckily we did.”
With about 11 minutes left in the first half, Miller-Jones had a goal waved off for being ruled offsides.
“I know I was onsides, but it all depends on the perspective and angle of the referee, and he said I was offsides by less than a yard,” said the junior forward. “You get those chances and sometimes you wish you could rewind time and try it again.
“We had a good run. I thought we played our hearts out there. We just missed on some chances. Next year I will try to lead this team to the final four.”
Among the Rams seniors who have been a part of three straight regional finals were Peterson, defender Kim Mueller, forward Luca Diplan and midfielder Alex Fethiere, who battled through an ankle injury in the playoffs.
“Opportunities were missed,” Fethiere said. “You can't make every shot. I'm sure the boys don't regret the way they played.
“Every year we have been a little closer and closer. It has been hard for me in particular because of the amount of work I've put in to get to this point in competition. I don't regret anything, I've put it all out on the field the last four years and am proud of the amount of success I've had. We have grown as a good team.”