It was a tough night on the road for Greenwood’s goal keeper Evan Loyd, but in the end the Bluejays owe him everything. Loyd stepped up during penalty kicks to help his team win with a 4-2 PK differential over Republic after a quick paced and frustrating game for both teams.
“Considering Republic outplayed us the whole game, I was actually happy [to go to penalties]. I don’t like going into PK shootouts but we were hanging on by a thread and so we were fortunate enough to not get scored on,” said Greenwood’s coach, Chris Shull.
“We didn’t give them any easy shots, and they were off-balance a lot, but we were fortunate.”
The Tigers had Loyd under fire for most of the game. In the first half Pool led several breakaway opportunities for Republic, but Greenwood’s keeper was always there to close in and snatch the ball up or to cut the angle on the shot. Then, in the second half, Republic’s Tanner Williams had three consecutive shots on goal; the first two were deflected and the last was forced wide by Loyd.
“Someone once told me that goalkeeping is 75 percent mental not physical… [so] you don’t want to think about the pressure and get into your own head,” Loyd said.
Republic’s coach, Mike Hines, was disappointed with the loss, but ultimately conceded that the game came down, not just to PKs, but to the performance of the Greenwood keeper throughout the game. Walking away from the field, Hines complimented Loyd saying “they owe you everything.”
The offensive play was not totally one sided. By the second half, Greenwood started to turn up the energy on offense led by their star, Nick Hogan. By the second overtime, however, Hogan’s frustration in the scoreless game came out as he was sent off due to a soft red for insubordinately disputing a call.
“Sometimes it can be a challenge, in an overtime game like that, to try to keep the composure of a high school kids,” said Shull when asked about the card.
Greenwood 0, Republic 0
Greenwood 4, Republic 2