On Saturday, the Lebanon Boys JV Soccer Team defeated Danville and Tri-West on their way to securing the title in the Sagamore Conference JV Boys Tournament, held in Danville. The Tigers won a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Danville, before proceeding to prevail on penalty kicks, with a score of 4-3 over Tri-West in the championship final after a 1-1 scoreline at full time.
In the first match, the Tigers scored an 1-0 victory in a hard-fought game against hosts Danville. Freshman midfielder Treyton Achor’s dipping shot into the upper right corner of the net, from 30 yards out, with 1:40 remaining in the second half, proved to be the difference in an otherwise evenly contested match. The Tigers had chances early on; with shots by Caleb Girdley that were saved by the Danville keeper and a solid header by Jordan Hines that flew just inches wide of the post. Danville had an opportunity to level the score with 7 seconds remaining in the match on a free kick, but the shot was easily saved by the Tigers freshman keeper Grant Krulik.
In the second game, Lebanon advanced to face Tri-West. Tri-West beat Crawfordsville 4-1 in the first round. Having faced Lebanon twice already this season, the Bruins defense focused on the speedy Tigers leading scorer, sophomore forward Caleb Girdley. Tri-West attempted to employ an offside trap to mitigate the danger of Girdley. But the striker broke through the defensive backline ten minutes into the championship match, calmly slotting his shot past an onrushing Bruins goalkeeper to open the score. Afterwards, both teams had scoring opportunities before Tri-West levelled the score with eighteen minutes remaining in the second half on a low driven shot through traffic. One of the Tigers better chances in the second half came when Lebanon midfielder Sam Green broke through the backline and had a breakaway on goal that was thwarted by the keeper. Another chance came through Wyatt Boyett when he headed the ball on target, but the shot was alertly saved by the Tri-West keeper. Ultimately, neither team could break the deadlock and the championship went to penalty kicks.
The Tigers fell behind in the first few rounds of PK’s, but they were able to claw their way back into the shootout due to two saves from Grant Krulik and a miss by the Bruins that flew over the crossbar. Facing elimination in the fifth round of PK’s, freshman midfielder Jeremy Mullins stepped up to calmly send the keeper in the opposite direction and converted the penalty. In the eighth round of PK’s, sophomore captain Jordan Taylor blasted his shot past the Tri-West keeper, before Krulik made a clutch diving save to his left to secure the victory by making his third save in the shootout. The save sent the Tigers bench and fanbase into celebration mode. Also converting penalty kicks for the Tigers were Quintin Isenhower with a well-taken penalty that found the corner of the net under the arms of the out-stretched keeper and Wyatt Boyett whose powerful shot found the net off the fingertips of the goalie.
The win improved the Lebanon boys JV team to 7-4-1 on the season.