Glencoe boys drop playoff game to Grant 2-1
Coming into the Class 6A boys soccer state tournament second round, No. 12 Glencoe High had only allowed eight goals all season.
In fact, the Crimson Tide hadn't been scored on since Oct. 12 in a 2-0 loss to Forest Grove.
However, No. 5-ranked Grant found a few cracks in that defense and exploited them en route to a 2-1 win Wednesday night, Nov. 3, at Strasser Field in Delta Park.
The Generals (13-2-2) scored a goal in the first half to take a 1-0 lead at the break and added a second one with just under 15 minutes left in the match to get the win over the Crimson Tide.
"We were fully aware of what they (Glencoe) put together this year … we played them last year so we were familiar with them," Grant coach Erik Miller said. "Our team is deep and we've got some talented players that can create, but also our movement really opens things up for us as a team."
Senior midfielder Mitchell Munzing did the creating part for the Generals' first goal when he took a ball down the middle to the left side and then sent it back to the right corner past the Glencoe goalkeeper with 14:16 left in the first half.
The one-goal lead stood until seven minutes into the second half when Glencoe (12-2-2) tied things up on a rebound goal from Jonny Bazon. He was the only one near the net after the Grant goalkeeper knocked down a shot right before.
Despite the equalizer, the Generals didn't flinch and kept up their onslaught on offense, in which they finished outshooting the Crimson Tide 10-5 and 6-1 in shots on goal.
"There was 30 minutes left so I was just responding to them with, 'There's a lot of time,'" Miller said. "How do we step up when we create the chances? That's kind of what we've been talking about, being ready for your chance when we carve it out and trying to finish."
Miller said his squad had a hard time getting the second goal, but senior forward Sawyer Lasof found a way even if it was a little unconventional.
On a cross to the middle of the goal, Lasof fell into the ball and pushed into the net rather than kicking it, but a goal is a goal.
"I'm not even sure," Lasof said on where the ball went off of him for the goal. "The ball was just kind of coming in the air and I just shoved my whole body on the ball and it went into the back of the net and that's what matters. I don't know how it went in, but it went in."
While the goal â€“ and ultimately the win â€“ led to a Generals celebration, the Tide were left to wonder what could've been in the wake of the defeat.
Glencoe head coach Tom Stephens' pride wasn't diminished by the loss, and thought his team impressed despite ending on the wrong side of a hard-fought battle.
"I was really proud of the way the fellas played," Stephens said. "Grant has always been a great team and I believe we matched them tonight. Our game plan was to play our game. We knew they were going to throw multiple guys up the wings and we knew that our speed was a touch faster than theirs. I thought both teams played to their strengths, and they got the last touch for the finished result. We knew we had to play really well to stay in it against a well-coached team and we did just that."
Despite the Generals' two goals, Lasof credits his team's defense more for the run the PIL champions are on.
"To be honest, it's our defense. Our defense wins us our games," Lasof said. "Defense wins games and our defense is the best in the state."
Meanwhile, Stephens was quick to point-out what was for the bulk of the season, rather than dwell on how things ended for a team he proudly said had a great year.
"We had a fantastic season," the Tide coach said. "Any time you get 10-plus wins, it's a huge accomplishment. I believe that our team had the pieces to win it all, but needed to catch a bit of luck as well. We'll come back stronger next year."
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