Ozark’s all-time leading scorer, senior Jake Neidig, led the Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Parkview Vikings Wednesday, scoring the team’s two goals: the first in the 26th-minute after an unassisted run through the Parkview defense and the second in the 31st-minute, a beautiful header off a free kick crossed by senior Robbie Oslica.
“Jake’s already our all-time leading scorer, and he’s a nightmare matchup for [any player],” said the Tigers’ coach, Tom Davidson. “I don’t know if there’s any player in the Ozarks who’s better in the air.”
The Vikings had the game’s first goal, however, in the ninth-minute when Aiden Griffin played the ball up the center of the field to Josh Hess who scored from just outside the eighteen. Shortly thereafter Neidig tied the game up, and then, using the momentum from his own goal, brought the Tigers into the lead.
“We kind of came out slow and they caught us off on our heels… the ball was kind of bouncing around out there and then I just got a foot on it,” said Neidig stoically. “It wasn’t a pretty win, but a win’s a win.”
The Vikings' first time goalie, Trevor Long, also showed his metal tonight despite the two goals the team let in. Long, a first season sophomore playing his first full game in goal, made an outstanding ten saves, several of which seemingly snatched from the Tigers’ feet without regard for life or limb.
Kicking off the second half with the lead, the Tigers were able to focus primarily on defense. Looking at the field, one would have noticed that every one of Parkview’s offensive players was marked and, to make matters worse for the Vikings, two of their offensive starters, seniors Levi Pueppke and Taylor Smith, were suspended from play after receiving red cards in last night’s
After the 40th-minute, the ball spent much of its time near the half line, but then, in the 62nd-minute, things heated up again when the Tigers’ Rodney Geremia nearly scored, his shot deflecting off a Vikings defender.
Then, with the Tigers defense pushed up, the Vikings were able to get a shot on goal in the 63rd-minute, but were unable to score.
Parkview’s last serious attempt to score occurred in the 70th-minute when Joe Fairchild took a free kick from just outside the eighteen, but the ball was soft and wide.
“We didn’t have the best hustle, but we moved the ball pretty well and we capitalized on the opportunities that came up,” said Davidson. “Our seniors did great and they did a good job leading our team.”
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