Kokomo — Early on Wednesday night, Western’s boys soccer team figured out it could play with Logansport and threaten to win not just the game, but the sectional.
Late Wednesday night, Logansport figured out how to win.
The Berries scored the winning goal just 4:07 from the end of regulation to take a 2-1 victory in the opening round of the Class 2A Kokomo Sectional.
The Panthers struck first, in the game’s 16th minute, and held a 1-0 advantage at halftime. Western’s goal came from Chris Root, who poked home a loose ball from six yards out after Logan goalie Connor Kinnaman gave up a rebound on a 40-yard-plus free kick by Zac Simpson.
In the second half, the Berries got a grip on the action. Logan scored just 45 seconds after halftime when Jose Tavares sent a low cross to an open Pedro Hernandez for a one-time strike at the back post.
“The big thing in the first half was the nerves, knowing we could give up a goal, which we did, and then we weren’t possessing the ball and guys were stabbing [at the ball]. They were afraid they were going to give up another one,” Logan coach Mike Turner said.
Western had more of the ball and the bulk of the dangerous chances in the first half. The Panthers forced Kinnaman into nine saves in the first half, compared to just three for Western goalie Edgar Sanchez, but Logan got more of the ball in the second half.
“We allowed them to get a lot more first touches on the ball,” Western coach Mike Roe said of the second half. “We were a little deeper than we should have been, and allowed them to build up some touches and [get] turns without getting any pressure on them right away.”