Saturday, October 23, 2010
By Brandon Hansen, Lake County Leader
POLSON – It wasn’t the ending they were looking for, but the Polson boys soccer team had nothing to hang their heads about. In their state semifinal matchup against Belgrade, the Panthers scored in the 31st minute against the Pirates and held on for the 1-0 victory on Saturday.
“That was a tough, hard fought game,” Polson head coach Jess Kittle said.
The final 49 minutes of the game saw the Pirates attempt to apply pressure for an equalizer, but despite several good opportunities, including one where the goal lost the ball right in front of the goalie with less than two minutes to go, Polson just couldn’t convert.
“I thought Belgrade played a very good game, but I also thought we played a very good game as well,” Kittle said. “Belgrade was able to convert a loose ball in front of the net into a goal and we had a couple opportunities to do the same and we wouldn’t get the ball into the net.”
Belgrade’s lone score wasn’t without dispute, however, as they took a shot from 25 yards out that appeared to have bounced off the field goal bar above the soccer goal crossbar. If that were true, that would have been ruled out of bounds and perhaps a cornerkick if the goalkeeper touched the shot before it hit the crossbar. It instead bounced back in front of the goal and Will Wright was able to put the shot in.
“Our guys played hard all season long and even though the final outcome didn’t end up the way we wanted it to end, these guys have nothing to feel bad about,” Kittle said. “We reached several of our preseason goals that we set for ourselves.”
Polson’s goals were to get to the playoffs, get a game on their home field and win the conference. They accomplished all those goals en route to a 9-4-1 record and an undefeated 7-0-1 conference record.
Belgrade 1 0 – 1
Polson 0 0 – 0
B – Will Wright, 31:00
Shots on goal – Belgrade 8, Polson 5. Saves – Belgrade 5 (Jordan Malarchick), Polson 7 (Peregrine Frissell). Corner kicks – Belgrade 4, Polson 4. Total fouls – Belgrade 13, Polson 20. Yellow cards – Belgrade 2, Polson 1. Red cards – none.�