It took only about a minute for Parkway Central to get its first goal in the state semifinals against Republic, and it didn’t get much better for the Tigers the rest of the way. The Colts controlled possession for most of the game on the way to a 3-0 win and a berth in the state championship game.
Coach Kevin Hauck says his team seemed nervous to start the game — and the early goal by Parkway Central didn’t help.
“An early goal is pretty deflating. And I thought we were going to get a chance to come back and find one early. Dylan had a couple of looks there,” Hauck says. “I thought, ‘Well, if we can just even it back out, everything will be fine.
“We came out with a lot more nerves than what I anticipated. I thought we were going to be okay. I felt really comfortable with everything that we were doing leading up to it. But then once we stepped on the field, everything seemed to have changed and nerves seemed to have sunk in.”
Parkway Central took a 2-0 lead about midway through the first half when Matthew Deay scored on a rebound after a save by Dalton Ghan. It was 3-0 after Adam Burnett scored early in the second half, putting the Colts firmly in control.
On the offensive end, the Tigers couldn’t put pressure on the Parkway Central defense. Republic managed only five shots on goal for the entire game.
“That was the one thing we talked about at halftime, is we’re a much better team when we put pressure everywhere,” Hauck says. “It definitely hurt us in the first half, especially there at the beginning. We just kind of sunk in and we didn’t want to … pressure, and that’s really uncharacteristic of us.”
The Tigers will play for third place Saturday against Harrisonville. The Wildcats suffered a 4-3 loss in double overtime against Washington in the other semifinal.
Hauck says he told his players after the game, “We have one more game on a big stage like this. We’re still going to have a bunch of people come out for us and cheer for us tomorrow, and only two Class 3 teams are going to go home with a win. You have two choices: are you going to go home with losing two in a row, or you get to go home with one win, because third place is going to feel a whole lot better than fourth place.”
Republic and Harrisonville play at 10 a.m.