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Readers’ favorite high school games & individual performances – Part 2

With the spring sports season on hold due to the coronavirus, we asked our audience to provide us with some of their favorite memorable high school games or individual performances there were part of as a player, coach or fan.   Here are some of those shared memories.  More installments will be coming.

This installment is exclusive to the 2018 Rising Sun Boys Soccer postseason as described in detail by assistant coach Mark Boetticher.

Mark Boetticher- The memorable boys soccer games for me as an assistant coach were all the state tournament games in the 2018 season.  We went 4-1 and became the second ORVC team to make it to the Elite 8.

It all started with our sectional opening game against Switzerland County. We entered the postseason as ORVC champs and a slight favorite to win along with Southwestern Hanover and Jac Cen Del.  What made this game more memorable was our bus broke down on the way to Osgood. We had to wait about 20 to 30 minutes before another bus was available to come to our spot.  Of course, Switzerland County also had to wait for us to get to the field and the game started almost 45 minutes later than scheduled.

Switz gave us lots of trouble to find an open look to score despite we outshot them 28-4 (17-2 on goal) as they put all but one or two players on their own half and played counter attack.  It was too hard to feel comfortable even after Landon Cole scored on a free kick outside the box with 2:31 left first half. The second half was almost the same way except Switz pushed numbers forward trying to tie at the end. We finally felt safe after Jake Bovard scored the insurance goal on a breakaway after a great pass from Brayden Bush with 6:15 left to go.

Southwestern beat Jac Cen Del 2-1 in overtime and we considered our semifinal match with them to be a championship game because the winner would likely win the championship.  We knew it was going to be a close one as both teams tied twice back in regular season 0-0 and 1-1.  Even though stats showed we outshot the Rebels 19-9 (9-2 on goal), neither team outplayed the other. Southwestern should have scored first as a header hit the crossbar, the ball fell to the ground and bounced away from the goal.

My favorite moment in the entire tournament was the last 7 minutes of the game. It started with Jake Bovard’s pass from the left wing to Landon Cole and Jake made a run. Landon flicked the ball past the defender’s back to Bovard as he took one dribble and fired a shot to lower right side of the goal. That goal at that moment made me think this was our year to win the sectional.

After that, we expected Mitchel Cline, Southwestern’s goalie, to move to front line as they did a week ago and tied the game at Southwestern. During an injury timeout, he did and we prepared for him by moving one of our strikers, James Bounds to full back to replace Ben Lewis. It was nerve-racking and exciting to watch as we tried to defend our 1-0 lead for 6 minutes and 42 seconds.

Our defenders learned the lesson from the previous week and made sure Cline did not have any open look for any shot. As a result, Southwestern did not have any shot on goal for the remainder of the game. The celebration started with five seconds left on the clock as the center referee blew the whistle for a Rising Sun free kick. We did not take the kick and let the clock ran out and celebrated the biggest win of the season.

Story continues.

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