by Mark Eisenhauer
With rivalry in the air, the boys soccer team visited SPF for their second meeting this season, and once again drew even in a 1-1 tie after double overtime.
Substantial crowds boosted the energy on both sides, as each team created many early scoring chances. The game was back and forth for most of the first half, until a throw-in was awarded to Westfield in deep SPF territory. Junior Zach Shiel launched a long throw into the box, which was headed into the back of the net by sophomore Mike Prosuk.
Said Prosuk, “The goal was an unbelievable feeling because it was against our rivals, and it was at their home turf so it meant a lot to me.”
But Westfield’s elation quickly dissipated; a few minutes later, SPF tied the game with a shot that bounced around the box and was just missed by senior goalkeeper Danny LaCorte.
The second half brought much of the same, with SPF pressuring early, but WHS responding with equal tenacity.
The team’s best chance of the half came about 15 minutes in, when following an SPF corner kick, senior Henry Smith surged downfield. With SPF caught off guard, WHS developed a three on two which nearly led to a second Westfield goal.
Said Smith: “I think sometimes the rivalry may make us a little more uptight for the game, but did not think that today. We were loose and playing to win, not backing away from anything.”
With neither team able to break the tie, the match went into overtime. Emotions ran high in both overtime periods, with yellow cards given to both sides. LaCorte had a number of key saves and kept his team alive.
Said Head Coach Mr. George Kapner, “[LaCorte] has let in one goal in the last five games, and played great as always.”
One of the most exhilarating plays of the game was the last, when Smith rang a free kick off the crossbar just before the final whistle.
Said Kapner, “[The team] played with a great deal of heart and I’m very proud of them.”
The boys’ next game is on Oct.13 against Cranford at Kehler Field.
Additional reporting by Sarah Hearon