Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

October 8, 2013

Western wins nail-biter

Panthers top Wildkats in tense sectional clash

LOGANSPORT — The longer the game went scoreless, the more Western and Kokomo were on edge. The tension escalated for nearly an hour in the opening game of the Class 2A Logansport Boys Soccer Sectional on Monday night before Chris Root breached the goal to tilt the game Western’s way.

Western (14-2-1) struck in the 59th minute after a throw in on the right side. Nic Bewley controlled the throw and slipped a pass to Root just inside the box. Root cut the ball past sliding Kokomo defender S.A. Dunn, looked up, and was in the clear to score from 15 yards out.

“We just had a good play that came from a throw-in,” Root said. “I had one touch and it was in the back of the net.

“All I know is I had the ball and I had my job and I had to finish. Just a simple cut over [past the defender] and I had it.”

That goal decided a great game between the local rivals which saw a series of great saves from Western senior netminder Edgar Sanchez and Kokomo freshman goalie Caleb Cook in the first half.

Kokomo (6-11) put five defenders across the back line and played with a lone striker — or occasionally with none — to keep Western at bay.

“I noticed early on they were playing five back and they switched to a 5-4-1 [formation],” Western coach Mike Roe said. “Really, we expected them to come in with a little bit of a bunker [defense] and try to eliminate a lot of our goal-scoring opportunities, maybe even frustrate us a little bit.

“I really think that had a big effect. Kokomo’s defense was standout, they were stellar. They made us work for every attempt on goal. We didn’t get very many free looks.”

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