Dallas Soccer DFW

Keller Central rallies past Fossil Ridge in penalties

Published 3/9/2016 5:08:58 AM by staff from dallas

What an entertaining soccer match fans were treated to on Tuesday night in Keller as Central made the short trip over to face Fossil Ridge in a pivotal District 5-6A soccer clash.  Both teams are right in the middle of a playoff battle as Central is trying to run down leaders Byron Nelson while Fossil is making a valiant attempt to pry that final playoff spot away from Keller.

The first good opportunities of the game would fall to Fossil Ridge but both would go begging.  In just the 2nd minute a deflected corner kick left a Fossil player right in front of goal with a free header from only three yards out.  The chance was lost as the easy finish was somehow headed over the crossbar and out.

A questionable foul call would give Fossil a free kick in the 10th minute of play.  Leading scorer Noah Powell swerved in a ball that was destined for the top corner. CFC keeper Josh Starkey made a great leaping save to tip the ball around the post for a corner and keep it scoreless as Central found their legs.

The next twenty minutes were back and forth as both teams struggled to gain control of the match.  Finally in the 32nd minute Fossil Ridge made the breakthrough.  Once again it came from a set piece. A corner kick was forcefully met by Noah Powell who headed a ball that was destined for a goal.  Josh Starkey was beaten, but before the ball found the net it bounced off the chest of a CFC defender and was cleared for a throw in.

The goal would come from the ensuing throw as Starkey punched the long toss from Noah Powell right back to him.  Powell drove into the penalty area before firing a deflected shot into the net.  Central almost found the equalizer before halftime, but the strike whizzed just over the crossbar. Fossil Ridge 1 Keller Central 0 at the half.

As expected Central came out pushing hard to open the second half.  Evan Ripic was active down the left wing with a couple of good runs into the Fossil penalty area. He wasn't able to unleash a shot on goal though. Calum Sutherland ripped a screamer from twenty five yards but it was straight at the FRHS keeper.

The chances were coming though for the visitors and it looked like just a matter of time before CFC would have the game tied.  Fossil Ridge were just hanging on and there were still twenty five minutes left to play.

Then out of the blue Fossil hit them on the counter as a nice ball in behind the CFC defense sprung Noah Powell.  Josh Starkey came out to meet Powell who put his shot wide of the right post.  The game moved straight back to the Fossil Ridge end as a Ripic cross/shot had to be tipped over the crossbar.

Finally Central got the goal they so thoroughly had earned in the 68th minute. No surprise it would come on a long throw in either.  Ripic tossed a long one to the near post that Josh Hawkins flicked over the keeper's head and into the net. 1-1 with twelve minutes to play. Nothing would come in the final minutes and it would take penalty kicks to decide the winner.  A huge extra point was on the line for both teams as they jockeyed for playoff positioning.

Noah Powell went first trying to set the tone for FRHS.  His shot was true to the lower right and the home team jumped in front.  Central went next in an attempt to even it up, but the keeper made a nice save. Advantage Fossil.

Mason Wallak calmly put home the next penalty and FRHS were on their way.  Calum Sutherland got CFC on the board cutting the lead to 2-1.  Fossil Ridge kept the pressure on making their next two kicks sending it to the fifth round 4-3 to FRHS and the edge of victory.

Ivan Canales stepped up to win the match only to see Josh Starkey go down and make the saving intervention and extend the shootout.  Evan Ripic would get the chance to send the penalties to sudden death and that he did leaving it tied 4-4 after five shooters. Both teams put home their 6th penalties before Starkey would make another huge save to open the 7th round.  Garrett Garwood would be the man to win it for Keller Central as he blasted home the winner setting off the celebration.

A big extra point gained for CFC as they trail leaders Byron Nelson by 3 points in the standings.  The two sides meet on Friday at Byron where BNHS can wrap up the district title or CFC can pull even.  The point for Fossil Ridge leaves them all tied with Keller with the two teams scheduled for the clash on Friday.
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