Warriors’ season comes to an end
WINDBER — After leading 1-0 nearly the entire match, Everett was in good shape to coast to a victory in the District 5 Class 1A boys soccer championship on Friday night.
However, Somerset’s Elijah Armstrong tied the game at 1-1 with 1:43 left in regulation. Then, in double overtime, Isaac Hoyman buried the winning goal to give the Golden Eagles the victory over Everett, 2-1.
“It’s a frustrating game for us as coaches to watch,” Everett coach Brad Zembower said. “We expected our team to perform a little better than they did. It wasn’t because we thought Somerset was any less of a squad, we knew they were tough, but we really didn’t do any of the things we’ve done to be successful all season.
“We created some quality chances. We got several one-on-ones with the keeper, but we weren’t able to capitalize on those. They were knocking on the door all game. I was telling guys ‘you got to get up the field,’ but we parked the bus and eventually they scored on us.”
Everett’s Brady Foor opened the scoring with 17:21 left in the first half, ringing a shot off the cross bar that fell into the net behind Somerset goalie Ian Lasure. After that, Lasure was solid, totaling six saves, including two on breakaways in the second half.
Somerset coach Mark Wassilchalk said it was big for his team to keep their mind on the present after falling to Bedford in last year’s district championship on penalty kicks.
“It was tough then, but we had the mindset that the past is the past,” Wassilchalk said. “We didn’t really focus much on what happened last year, it was what do we do this year and going forward.
“I got to give my assistant coach Nate Menhorn a lot of credit. He came to me and said ‘what are we changing?’ We were then able to apply offensive pressure when they were in a shell on defense get the equalizer and eventually the win. This was probably the best game I’ve ever seen them play.”
Somerset and Everett were even in shots at 3-3 at halftime. The Golden Eagles outshot the Warriors 14-2 the rest of the game, including not allowing a shot to reach the net in the overtime periods.
The Golden Eagles utilized offensive pressure in the second half, getting multiple scoring chances, but nothing found the back of the net until Armstrong’s equalizer.
Somerset had a 4-0 shot advantage in the first overtime, then put three shots on goal before Hoyman sent the winner into the net, giving Somerset the victory.
The Golden Eagles (17-3) advance to the state playoffs on Tuesday, while Everett ended its season with a 14-3 record.
“This group has been a great squad,” Zembower said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but as the season progressed, these young men have really matured. They played well and played together. They’ve been a family, and that’s what we want to see. Win or lose, we want to become the right kind of people, and I feel our guys are doing that.”