By Lebanon Reporter Will Willems
With just three minutes remaining in Tuesday’s Sagamore Conference boys soccer game between Western Boone and Tri-West, it appeared like the Bruins were going to cruise to a win, leading 4-1. But the Stars had other ideas. Western Boone got goals from TJ Wilson and Michael Noonan in the final minutes, but ultimately lost 4-3. “That is the way we have played all year,” Western Boone head coach Mike Schlemmer said. “We fight back when we get down and we did it again today; we just fell and a little short.” Tri-West led 2-0 at the half, but Western Boone got a goal back in the opening minutes of the second half. Jeremy Imes converted a penalty kick with about 38 minutes remaining to make it 2-1. “When I first starting taking (penalty kicks) my sophomore year, I was scared,” Imes said. “After a while you just get confident and go up there and know that it is your role to score and you have to do it.” The Stars continued to press forward looking for the equalizer, but could never get a decent look at goal.
Schlemmer said he was happy with the intensity the team played with to try and tie the game.
“After we got our goal, I thought we were playing well,” Schlemmer said. “We kept our heads up and started playing WeBo soccer again. It was heartening to see that. But you have to give credit to Tri-West, they hung tough and weathered that storm we threw at them.”
Tri-West took some of the wind out of the Stars sails in the 60th minute, scoring a third goal to re-establish the two-goal lead.
Just seven minutes later, the Bruins converted a penalty kick to make it 4-1.
“After they scored we kind of went back to playing the way that we did in the first half, which wasn’t our best soccer,”
Reporter photo by Will Willems
Western Boone’s Wes Innocenti said. “After we managed to get that second goal we knew that we could play at their pace.”
The two teams played backand- forth for the next 10 minutes before the Stars scored again.
Marco Ramirez fought his way through a couple of defenders and slotted a perfect pass to Wilson, who slipped a shot past the keep to make the score 4-2.“I got the ball and kind of lost it, but I was able to get it back and step in front of my defender,” Ramirez said. “I always tell TJ that when he talks, something good happens. He called out to me, I saw him and placed the pass in front of him because I knew he could out run them on the dribble.”
Just a minute later, it was Wilson setting up a teammate, as he placed a ball into the center of the box which Noonan was able to get to before the goalkeeper to score.
The Stars pressed numbers forward in the final 90 seconds, but couldn’t get the equalizer. Western Boone concludes the regular season with a game Thursday at Southmont and a tournament Saturday at Covington. Innocenti said there is one main thing the Stars will look to improve.
“One thing we should work on is communication between us players,” he said. “We tend to get down on each other quickly after a goal. We have to be able to encourage our friends and family because we are really close as a team.”
Both Imes and Ramirez said the team can take positives from the loss as the head to the end of the regular season and sectional. “I think we can definitely build off this,” Imes said. “Playing against Tri-West, which is a great team, and to score on them that many times is amazing.”
Ramirez said that when the Stars play to their capabilities, they are tough to beat. “When we play the way we can, we feel like no one can stop us,” he said.
Gametime at Southmont is 5 p.m.