Sports

May 16, 2013

Southeast thrives in OT at Northwest, sets up rematch with Dalton for title

TUNNEL HILL — Throughout regulation time in Wednesday’s Class 4A boys soccer state semifinal at Northwest Whitfield High School, Southeast Whitfield had set play after set play.

And over and over, the Bruins’ defense did its best impression of an impenetrable brick wall.

But in overtime, the Raiders broke through. Twice.

Southeast scored a pair of goals in overtime and held on for a 2-0 win at Bruin Stadium to advance to Friday’s state championship against intracounty rival Dalton, which won 7-0 against Spalding in the other semifinal. The game is set for 7:30 p.m., and the Georgia High School Association will announce today whether it will be played at Kennesaw State University or the University of West Georgia.

The third installment to the Southeast-Northwest season series — Northwest won 2-0 in the first game, while Southeast won 4-1 in the rematch — included a lot of set plays for the Raiders and a few prime chances for the Bruins. Twenty set plays (free kicks, deep throw-ins or corner kicks) ended unsuccessfully for Southeast (13-4-1) after 80 minutes of regulation time, while Northwest (16-6) didn’t have much of an offense beyond the first 10 minutes.

“It was like two prize fighters punching,” said Southeast coach Kevin Kettenring, whose Raiders are ranked seventh in eurosportscoreboard.com’s Class 4A poll. “This game was equal. ... It was just a matter of inches and centimeters.”

But in the final seconds of the first overtime period — two five-minute periods are played per GHSA rules — Southeast’s Alex Rosillo was fouled 25 yards out. On the ensuing free kick, Erik Salaises’ chip over Northwest’s defense landed on Alex Garcia’s outstretched foot and evaded goalkeeper Miguel Deanda.

That left five minutes for Northwest, the fifth-ranked team in Class 4A, to equalize. Bruins coach Ryan Scoggins said he switched from a two-striker formation and sent Miguel Villa, usually a sweeper, toward the front.

“Miguel Villa can do a great job up top,” Scoggins said.

In the first minute, Villa’s shot from the right side went directly into Southeast goalkeeper Abel Mendiola, and the Raiders’ defense cleared the deflection. That ended Northwest’s window to tie, though, because just a minute later Southeast’s set-play magic took all hope away from the home team.

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