Season comes to a bitter end on penalty kicks

Carson Schubert | Writer

Clay Van Tol of Western Christian boots the ball up field on a free kick during Class 1A Substate 1 soccer tournament action Monday, May 21. (Photo/Carson Schubert)

ORANGE CITY-Despite their season coming to an end, the Western Christian boys’ soccer team played tough in a 1-0 loss after losing 4-3 in penalty kicks to Kuemper Catholic at Northwestern’s soccer field in Orange City Monday, May 21, in the Class 1A boys’ sub-state soccer tournaments.

It was a defensive grind all game long. Neither defense was going to let the other team score and the goalies for each team played well. The Wolfpack may have been a little lethargic coming out of the gates, but they battled the entire game.

“I thought we played a pretty good game,” said Western Christian coach Sou Baccam. “We had to be a little more aggressive at the start, but I felt like that came around. It was a defensive battle the whole game and we played good enough to win, but unfortunately penalty kicks had to decide the game. It was back and forth all game. Our guys battled all game for the full 100 minutes.”

With it still being tied at the end of regulation, there were two 10-minute overtime periods. That still wasn’t enough to decide a winner. Kobi Baccam, Jaron Harthoorn and Carter Wibben each made their attempts but so did the first three Knights. The Wolfpack couldn’t make their next two penalty kicks, while Kuemper Catholic made one and that was how the game was decided.

“We had some good attacks on them and they had some good attacks on us. But our defense really stepped up to the challenge,” coach Baccam said. “I feel bad for the seniors that have to go out like this, but their team (Spirit Lake) is a lot like ours.”

Western Christian had 14 shots on goal for the game. Jeff De Kam was the goalie and he had eight saves in nine opportunities.

“Overall, I’m really proud of these guys for the season that we had,” Baccam said. “We worked hard during practice and learned a lot about ourselves and the game of soccer. I felt like we played better in the second half. The guys responded to the talk we gave them at halftime.”

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