Boys Soccer: Willmar's season ends in overtime
WILLMAR — Thursday afternoon's Section 6A quarterfinal match between Willmar and Holy Family Catholic was so evenly-contested that one favorable bounce was going to have to be the deciding factor.
That fateful carom came in the sixth minute of the opening overtime period, as Dan Parker ricocheted a header off the goalpost and into the back of the net to give the No. 6 Fire a 1-0 win over the No. 3 Cardinals at the Kennedy School field.
"I wasn't surprised that it was a close game," Cardinals head coach Jeff Winter said. "They tied (top-seeded) Orono and (second-seeded) Mound Westonka, but lost to some teams with losing records. We were expecting them to play up to their competition, which they did."
The goal capped a match in which neither team established dominance, where the flow of the game swung like a hypnotist's pendulum.
"It was a pretty back-and-forth game," Cardinals head coach Jeff Winter said. "It ended up being just one play, one bounce that went to them."
The loss was Willmar's first in its last 15 games, ending its hopes at a second consecutive state tournament appearance.
Holy Family led Willmar on shots on goal, eight to six.
Cardinals goalkeeper Zach Courtney finished with six saves, including a game-saving stop on a point-blank shot late in regulation.
Josh Curtiss' defensive save on the goalline broke the Fire's hearts for the time being early in overtime to account for the last of Willmar's saves.
Blake Hisken and Adam Ziebarth both had chances to score on headers in the box, but Fire goalkeeper Leo Pinamonti made a save on Hisken's and Ziebarth's went just wide of the post.
Vicente Cisneros blasted a strike with his right foot late in the second half that appeared bound for the back of the net, but Pinamonti ranged over to make the stop.
The Cardinals defense had turned away plenty of corner kicks and throw-ins that aired into the box, but Parker's fateful header in the 86th minute snuck into the goal.
Holy Family Catholic 1, Willmar 0
HFC (9-6-3) 0 0 1 — 1
Willmar (14-3-1) 0 0 0 — 0
FIRST HALF — None
SECOND HALF — None
OVERTIME—H: Dan Parker (Sawyer Schugel) 86th minute
SHOTS ON GOAL — Holy Family: 8 ... Willmar: 6
GOALIE SAVES — Holy Family: Leo Pinamonti ... Willmar: Zach Courtney 6
DEFENSIVE SAVES — Josh Curtiss 1