SCRANTON – The majority of coaches want to win or lose a game in regulation or overtime. They don't want to decide on penalty kicks.
You never want to lose on penalty kicks, said Wyoming Seminary coach Charlie Carrick. It's tough on the guys and an incredible amount of pressure when it gets down to that.
But that's exactly how Wyoming Seminary's season ended on Thursday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium in a 2-1 loss to Holy Cross in the District 2 Class A semifinal as the Crusaders won 4-3 on penalty kicks.
After playing 110 minutes and not being able to declare a winner, the coaches picked their first five participants in the shootout and players fired shots at the goal from 11 yards out.
Seminary's Henry Cornell went first and beat Holy Cross keeper Casey Gaughan with a shot to his right. Cross' Niko Amity equaled the shootout session slotting the ball to the left of Sem keeper Riku Rick Kazaiki. The teams went shot-for-shot through the first three kicks. Then a pair of Blue Knights sailed their shots too high. The Crusaders only had to hit one of theirs to secure the victory and that's what they did.
In this type of situation, it's nerves, it's a pressure-type situation and you get all that adrenaline flowing and you know what you want to do but sometimes it's just too much, Carrick said.
Amity got the scoring started in the sixth minute of play taking a pass from Eric Nelson and beating Kazaiki for a 1-0 lead with the clock reading 33:47.
The Blue Knights (12-5-1) showed their dominance keeping the ball in Holy Cross' part of the field for most of the first half and a large majority of the second half. So it seemed like a matter of time before they registered a goal. Seminary finally broke through when a shot by Benedikt Buerk hit the crossbar and Cornell was there to finish the play and equal the score at 1-1 with 15:26 remaining in the second half.
Holy Cross, which plays a very physical game, also consists of a defensive-heavy strategy. They jammed the Seminary side of the field with defenders and just one offensive player on the other side. The way Holy Cross got its goal in regulation was just that way as they punted the ball to the other side of the field with Nelson and Amity getting free to notch the score.
We had our chances they just didn't get into the net, Carrick added. I'm proud of the guys. It was a great season and this was a great game. We created so many chances it just didn't go our way.
Holy Cross 2, Wyoming Seminary 1
(Won on penalty kicks 4-3)
First half: 1. HC, Niko Amity (Eric Nelson) 33:47
Second half: 1. WS, Henry Cornell (Benedikt Buerk) 15:26
Shots: WS 14, HC 13; Saves: WS 6 (Riku Rick Kazaiki), HC 9 (Casey Gaughan); Corners: WS 5, HC 4.
Penalty kicks: WS: 1. Henry Cornell, goal; 2. Malcolm Lumia, goal; 3. Dylan Bassham, goal; 4. Eduardo Laguna, shot high; 5. Sami El-Mashtoub, shot high. HC: 1. Niko Amity, goal; 2. Kyle Beekman, goal; 3. Mike Cicco, goal; 4. Alex Demion, goal.