Everett falls in shootout
By Jim Lane
For the Mirror
There are tough losses, and this certainly was a tough loss.
Everett’s hopes to repeat as District 6 Class 2A boys soccer champions came up short Thursday night when West Shamokin won a shootout, 3-2, at Mansion Park.
The teams were tied, 2-2, after 80 minutes of regulation play.
It remained 2-2 after the first 15-minute overtime and was still tied at 2-2 after the second 15-minute extra session.
That brought a shootout and West Shamokin prevailed by nailing three straight shots while Everett converted just 1-of-4.
It was a tough loss for Everett, which finished with a 17-2 record.
“I like to think and I hope we were gracious losers,” said Everett coach Brad Zembower. “I learned that from Bald Eagle Area last year.”
Everett beat BEA in the 2016 championship game.
“I thought we played great and had some opportunities,” Zembower said of the tough defeat. “West Shamokin is a great team and gave us a great game. We couldn’t put it in the net, but it was an all-around awesome game.”
West Shamokin completed a Cinderella run to its first championship with the shootout victory. As the No. 5 seed, WS knocked off No. 4 Richland, 1-0, and top seed Bald Eagle Area, 1-0, to earn a shot against No. 2 Everett in the title game.
“It’s pretty special,” WS coach Joe Alese said of the title. “We were underdogs the whole way. Nobody knew who we are and I kind of liked it that way.
“I’m very proud of these boys,” the coach continued. “They’ve done a lot of work.”
In the shootout, No. 1’s, Bailey Foor of Everett and Liam Alese of West Shamokin both scored. On the second shots, WS keeper Sam Skamai stopped Brady Foor’s attempt and freshman Luke Alese buried his to give the Wolves the advantage.
“I’m always focusing on the next shot,” Skamai said. “It’s all a guess … just trying to go off my gut.”
“When he stopped the first one, I was feeling confident,” coach Alese said. “I believed.”
Everett’s Nate Maxwell hit the crossbar and West Shamokin’s Tristan Doverspike converted his, giving the Wolves a 3-1 edge. When Knepp missed, West Shamokin had the championship and teammates mobbed goalkeeper Skamai.
The only goal of the first half came when Everett’s Bailey Foor beat a rushing Skamai at the 11:50 mark.
A pair of goals by WS standout Liam Alese at 31:25 and 21:17 pushed the Wolves on top, 2-1, but Bailey Foor nailed one from deep to tie it at 2-all with 10:46 left in regulation.
The Warriors appeared to have the better of it during the overtime sessions, but couldn’t score, and West Shamokin closed the deal in the shootout.
“It was a good game and Everett is a good team,” coach Alese said. “They played with a lot of heart.”
“Even their coach said, it was a shame someone had to lose on penalty kicks,” Zembower said. “I’m not so focused on the end result. I’m focused on the results that get us here. As long as kids buy into the system, we will have success.
“We might not always make the district championship game, but we certainly can be competitive.”
SCORE BY HALVES
West Shamokin 0 2 0 0 1– 3
Everett 1 1 0 0 0 — 2
First half: E–Ba. Foor, 11:50.
Second half: WS–Li. Alese, 31:25; WS–Li. Alese, 21:17; E–Ba. Foor, 10:46.
Shootout: WS–3 (Li. Alese, Lu. Alese, Doverspike), E–1 (Ba. Foor).
Records: West Shamokin (14-3-1), Everett (17-2).