GOSHEN – After 80 minutes and a lengthy postgame sessions with their respective clubs, both coaches for Wawasee and Goshen boys soccer clubs weren’t sure what was decided after a 1-0 final in favor of Goshen Tuesday night.
The lone goal of the match was scored in the 65th minute, a penalty kick conversion by Goshen’s JT Plavchak. The call was controversial as Plavchak was whistled by the center referee to have been fouled by Wawasee’s Addison Dumford on a slide tackle that Dumford looked to have cleanly stolen the ball away from Plavchak while the Goshen midfielder stumbled over the sliding defender.
Both coaches were bittersweet over the goal being what decided the match, to which Goshen had dominated but Wawasee managed to hold firm.
“I couldn’t see for sure if it was a penalty kick or not, but hey, we’ll take it,” stated Goshen head coach Viratham Mounsithiraj. “It was just one of those nights where it felt like we could take 30 shots and none were going to go in, and would we end up tied, or worse. It shouldn’t have come down to a penalty kick to decide this one.”
Added Wawasee head coach Jordan Sharp, “Unfortunately we go down on a penalty kick. I really didn’t see it. But that’s a bummer it had to go down that way. The guys fought like men and I’m still proud of them. I think we played with them. The referee is going to call it how he sees it. That’s soccer, the ball rolls certain ways one night, different the next. We just have to bring it every time, and hopefully it works out better the next time.”
Both teams also had a goal disallowed, and both of those calls received quite an uproar from the offensive benches. In the ninth minute, Wawasee’s Brock O’Haver sent a free kick into the Goshen penalty area. As Wawasee’s Alex Doll headed for the trajectory, Goshen keeper Tyler Born skied for the ball over Doll. The ball careened off of Doll’s head and into the net, only for the goal to be waived off as Doll was whistled for obstructing Born.
Moments after Plavchak’s penalty goal, Goshen had a gripe as it’s offense built a counterattack and had both Plavchak and Jose Martinez-Garcia behind Wawasee’s defenders with only Wawasee keeper Korey Knafel in the way. As the muddle caught up to the ball, Goshen was whistled to have committed a foul inside the penalty area as the ball off Plavchak’s foot trickled past Knafel into the lonely net.
Getting past the subjective moments, Goshen controlled most of the game’s possession and scoring opportunities. The Redskins had 11 shots on target and several others that whistled past the posts. The presence of Jesus Dominguez in Goshen’s offense, who has missed most of this season due to a hamstring injury, made a huge difference. The bulky senior forward cracked three shots on target and had a play in several of Goshen’s chances. Adding in prime touches from Kevin Garcia, Martinez-Garcia and Plavchak, and Wawasee had it’s hands full all night.
The Redskins, which move to 9-1-1 this season and 5-0 in the Northern Lakes Conference, shut down almost every counter Wawasee put together. The Warriors only uncorked two official shots on target, but one in the 15th minute by Carter Jones nearly found the net without a spectacular save by Born. Wawasee’s only other shot came in the 55th minute that Born was able to smother without trouble.
“Our guys just wanted it tonight and we were just not able to quite get it,” Sharp said. “We are a unit as one and we have to play together as one. Our goal was to shut them out and we nearly achieved that. It’s frustrating that we didn’t accomplish that on a penalty call, but we played very well tonight.”
The loss sends Wawasee to a 4-4-4 record and 1-2-1 in the NLC. A match Thursday at home against Lakeland is the last non-conference fixture before diving into the final three of the regular season against Warsaw, Northridge and Plymouth. Goshen hosts Warsaw Thursday in a huge NLC match that could decide the conference champion.
The Goshen JV were all over Wawasee in a 6-0 final. An own goal opened the scoring, then tallies by Jansen Quarandillo, Kevin Arellano, Junior Argueta and two goals from Jose Juarez. Lucas Bontrager assisted on two of the goals for Goshen, which at 13-0 have only allowed one goal all season. Wawasee falls to 1-9-1 on the JV season.