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Despite loss to Elmira, Husky boys secure first soccer playoff berth ever

 

October 25, 2016

ELMIRA GOALIE KELLEN SMITH breaks up a Sweet Home attack by, from left, Austin Parrish, Alonso Perez, Quinn Dinsfriend and Wes Parker.

Sweet Home’s boys soccer team earned its first postseason spot in its history after defeating Cottage Grove 2-0 at home Oct 18.

A 3-0 loss at home to Elmira Thursday did not affect the Huskies’ third-place finish in the the Sky-Em League, Sweet Home’s highest position ever at the end of regular season.

Even finishing fourth, the Huskies may have earned a spot in the play-in round of state playoffs based, on rankings, said Coach Eric Stutzer.

The Huskies also finished first academically in boys 4A soccer statewide for the second time in their history. They carried a 3.58 GPA.

“I feel pretty good,” Stutzer said. “They (the team) were very excited about the win. It was a solid win. This is the first post-season ever for Sweet Home boys soccer. I don’t know if the boys know what to do with themselves this week.”

Stutzer said his team had a few missed opportunities, but Cottage Grove’s goalie was stellar in both their match-ups.

“I really feel like he was one of the best goalies we saw all year,” Stutzer said. The Huskies put a ton of shots on frame, and he kept stopping it.

The Huskies scored 20 minutes into the first half on a shot by Quinn Dinsfriend, Stutzer said. Late in the second half, “we finally were able, off a corner kick, to sneak one through.”

Austin Stevens scored that second goal.

“It was a very, very close game because of the way their goalie was playing,” Stutzer said. Cottage Grove had opportunities, but the Huskies stayed in control and kept the play offensive most of the way.

Against Elmira, the Huskies started well, about the first 15 minutes, Stutzer said. Dinsfriend and Stevens had three shots that bounced off the frame or just missed the goal.

The team was setting up its combination plays and had the goalie out of position, Stutzer said.

About 20 minutes in, Elmira scored its first goal, Stutzer said, but it was clearly the result of an offside play. The goal counted, and “we just got sloppy after that. We lost a lot of team unity.”

The Huskies’ power on the field this year has been built on its combination and team play, Stutzer said.

Afterward, Elmira dominated the game, Stutzer said. “We played hard, but we just weren’t able to put it back together.”

Ten minutes into the second half, Elmira scored, and five minutes later the Falcons scored again, Stutzer said. The Falcons had great looks and executed well.

Had the Huskies won the game, they would have tied for second place in league, Stutzer said. While he would have liked to beat Elmira, it would have meant what likely would have been an extremely physical tiebreaker against Elmira.

“I just got everybody back,” Stutzer said, so the silver lining is the Huskies won’t be risking player injury in a tough tiebreaker. They can practice and prepare for a play-in game Friday or Saturday.

The Huskies most likely will travel to Henley on Saturday, Stutzer said, but they could also face Ontario, Stayton or North Marion under different scenarios.

Some leagues still had regular-season games scheduled for Tuesday, and those could impact who plays the Huskies.

 
 

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