Ravens Rally Falls Short in SEISC Semi-Final Against Notre Dame

Ravens Rally Falls Short in SEISC Semi-Final Against Notre Dame

Hillcrest soccer 
Hillcrest 2, Burlington Notre Dame 3,  PKs

The Ravens faced the Notre Dame Nikes in the SEISC semi-final Friday evening at WACO coming up just short in penalty kicks to advance to the championship round. Playing on a short narrow field required adjustments by both teams as it seemed the ball was often going out of bounds and throw-ins were as dangerous as corner kicks. That proved to be the case as Notre Dame scored off a throw- with five minutes left in the first half. An invigorated Notre Dame took advantage, scoring a quick second goal to go into halftime with a 2-0 lead.

Within the first minutes of the second half the Ravens showed they weren’t going to fly away quietly as they created offensive pressure almost immediately. As Notre Dame tried to clear their lines, Seth Ours stepped in front of a Nike pass, took two dribbles and lofted a shot from 35 yards out that sailed into the upper left hand corner of the goal. Continued pressure resulted in several shots, one from Jesse Blossom that hit the crossbar and one from Micah Gerber that ricocheted off the post. In the meantime the Raven defense, Bryce Bailey, Mason Helmuth, Isaac Birky, and Lincoln Miller limited the Nike opportunities. Defensive mids, Mason Bender and Kale Bailey contained the middle of of the field as the Ravens sought to find the net again. With 11 minutes left in the match, Kale Bailey sent a ball into the box. Mason Swartzendruber ran onto the ball and deftly turned it into the goal to even the score. 

Both teams tried to find the winning goal but it was not to be as goalie Kyle Neuschwander recorded seven saves. 

Since it was a conference tournament match the game proceeded directly to penalty kicks. After consulting with the goalies, Andrew Kaufman stepped into goal to face the “kicks from the spot.” The first two Ravens made their shots while Notre Dame missed their second. The Notre Dame goalie kept the next two Raven shooters from scoring with Kaufman knocking one Notre Dame shot away, sending it to the sixth kicker. Notre Dame prevailed, earning the win with the final 2-3 score.  

The Ravens finish the regular season with a 10-3 record. They are off until May 20, 7:00 pm when they will play the winner of the Mid-Prairie, Sigourney Keota match in substate play.