By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune
---- — Logansport’s boys soccer team lived life on the edge in its sectional game against Western on Wednesday night in winning by sudden-death penalty kicks.
The Berries picked a good time to pitch their first shutout of the season and then tied the Panthers 4-4 through the first PK session.
Logan junior Ehpa Doh then drilled his PK in the sudden-death session, and Western’s Nic Bewley missed wide right to give the Berries the win.
The Berries (3-9-1) face Marion at 1 p.m. Saturday for the Class 2A Logansport Sectional title. Western finishes 14-3-1.
After the first PK session ended, Logan coach Mike Turner said he asked his team who would take the next shot.
“Ehpa stepped up. He said, ‘Coach, I’ve got this.’ And he did,” Turner said. “He was calm. I can’t say enough about him.”
In the first PK session, Orlando Casimiro and Phillip Stephenson connected on the first two tries for the Berries. Heath Vincent, who was a key defensively in the shutout, was then stopped by Western goalkeeper Edgar Sanchez.
Luis Gonzalez then struck for the Berries, and Western’s Chris Carter missed high to keep it a 3-3 ledger. Hector Enriquez then banged one in off the crossbar to keep the Berries’ season going before Doh came through with the eventual game-winner.
In the regulation and two overtime sessions, Logan goalkeeper Jesus Martin was a key in the Berries posting the shutout.
“Chuy made three really huge saves in the second half,” Turner said. “We made two mistakes in the back that should have cost us.”
Martin said the shutout and the win were team efforts.
“All I can think about right now is we played as a team. That’s one of the things we wanted to accomplish this year: to work as a unit for the whole entire game — for the first and second half. And we did that today.
“We did this as a unit. I’m just glad we came out there as a team and hopefully we can do that Saturday against Marion.”
The Berries hurt themselves offensively with at least a dozen offsides calls.
“It was terrible,” Turner said. “We’ll work on it. They were like Kokomo in running a trap and we didn’t have the discipline. ... There were maybe two that shouldn’t have been called.”
Western’s Chris Root had a goal taken away by an offensive foul call 16:15 left in regulation.
The Panthers had more shots on goal for the contest but were denied by Martin and the Berries.
"I have confidence in my defenders," Martin said. "I have their back. They have my back. That's how this team works. We've got each other's back."
The Berries had some good looks throughout, none better than Casimiro’s fastbreak shot with 2:45 left in the second overtime that missed just wide right.
The Berries, who forfeited four wins earlier this season due to the use of an ineligible player, lost 3-0 to Marion in the regular season. Marion is the outright North Central Conference champion and is a seven-time defending sectional champ.
Beau Wicker is the sports editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5113 or email@example.com.