By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
How do you make a penalty kick shootout even more nerve-racking?
Extend it by six extra cycles.
Republic prevailed 4-3 (PKs) in a marathon match Tuesday night that had both head coaches verifying the rules with the head official.
It was a new experience for everyone.
“I knew the one-for-one (rule) after five (cycles), but I didn’t know how long that went,” said Republic coach Kevin Hauck. “After 11, we were going re-cycle through.”
Added Willard coach Tim Magee: “I’ve never been (in a game) where it went to the 11th kicker. Matter of fact, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen after that point. I had to ask the official what the next step was.”
Senior Juan Carlos Marin converted the deciding PK attempt for Republic. Goalkeeper Dalton Ghan turned away Willard’s ensuing trying that would’ve extended the shootout to a 12th cycle.
“This is my fourth year playing here and I’ve seen a dozen PK shootouts,” Ghan said. “I knew what was going to happen (normally), but going into 11 or 12 rounds? I wasn’t prepared for that. I was prepared for five PKs.”
Normal PK shootouts are a best-of-five scenario. After that, one additional round is added until the tie is broken. Republic missed its first penalty kick try and then made six straight. Willard missed on attempts four eight and 11.
In the case of Willard and Republic, they needed six extra rounds.
“That’s the longest one I’ve been in,” Hauck said. “To go 11 kickers, I’ve never done that before. That was new to me.”
While the pressure may have rose each cycle for the PK takers, Ghan maintains that he felt calm overall.
“The experience was fun,” said Ghan, wearing a mud-stained uniform. “I was having fun talking to the refs. I wasn’t nervous. I tried not to be nervous, obviously, but maybe I was. I defended a PK in the second half and that kind of got me prepared for it. I knew what I was going into.”
Willard forced overtime with a goal from Joseph Lupescu in the 77th minute.
The Black and White Tigers also trailed 2-1 early in the second half after a goal from Republic’s Marco Donjuan. Seconds later, Riley Young scored to tie the match 2-2.
Young drew a penalty kick and while his initial try was stopped, he quickly sprang forward to convert the rebound.
“We never quit. We kept fighting,” Magee said. “Republic’s a good team and was putting pressure on us. For us to get the equalizer late and take it to overtime was big for us, but we just didn’t get the outcome we wanted tonight.”
Republic (7-4 overall) has won six of its last seven matches. Repulic plays at Neosho on Thursday.
“Tonight we showed a lot of fight for our team,” Hauck said. “We kept fighting, (Willard) kept fighting. To pull out the win, that’s a huge victory for us.”
Willard dropped to 9-2-1 overall and plays at Laquey on Thursday.
“We look at (a PK loss) and look at the mistakes that allowed it to be 3-3 at the end of the game,” Magee said. “That’s really what we can do. When a game goes to PKs, you never know what’s going to happen. Any person with any soccer knowledge or experience wants to keep playing.”
Republic 4, Willard 3 (PKs)
Willard 1 2 0 0 — 3
Republic 1 2 0 0 — 4
Willard (16’) – Cole Oedewaldt
Republic (39’) – Alex Leonard
Republic (51’) – Marco Donjuan
Willard (51’) – Riley Young
Republic (60’) – Austin Beck
Willard (77’) – Joseph Lupescu