The Austin Packers boys soccer team, the No. 3 seed in the Section 1AA tournament traveled to Bruce Smith Field in Faribault Friday night to take on the second-seeded Falcons in the section semi-finals, and in a match that went to a penalty kick shootout to determine a winner, a goal from junior defender Ter Reh in the seventh round of the shootout, followed by a diving save from senior goalkeeper Dane Mitchell lifted the Packers to a 5-4 win in penalty kicks and a 2-1 win in the match.
Faribault opened the scoring with a goal in the 9th minute for a 1-0 lead, but senior midfielder Emiliano Hernandez Espindola tied the match at one apiece with a goal late in the 39th minute just before halftime. The two teams battled to a scoreless second half to send the match into a first 10-minute sudden death overtime period, with neither team able to break the 1-1 tie. A second 10-minute sudden death overtime period also failed to determine a winner, sending the match into a penalty kick shootout.
Austin was first to go in the shootout, and junior defender Nicholas Asmus scored to give the Packers a 1-0 lead. Faribault answered to tie the score at one, but senior defender Andrew Clausman put Austin back in front 2-1 as he converted on his attempt. The Falcons again forged a tie on their next opprotunity, but it was sophomore forward Juju Thawng burying his attempt to put the Packers back in front, 3-2. Faribault then tied it up 3-3 on their next attempt, but the back-and-forth action in the shootout round continued when senior midfielder Oo Reh put Austin back in front 4–3. Here Austin gained the momentum when the Falcons’ next attempt sailed over the goal, but the momentum was quickly quelled when sophomore midfielder Leonardo Hernandez’s attempt was turned away to keep the score at 4-3. Faribault then grabbed the momentum when their fifth attempt found the back of the net to tie the shootout round at 4, and Austin’s Joe Ewing had his shot turned away to keep the score knotted at four apiece. Packer goalkeeper Dane Mitchell then gave Austin new life when he stopped Faribault’s next attempt to keep the score at 4-4, and momentum shifted yet again, this time to Austin when Reh’s attempt in the seventh round of the shootout put Austin in front, 5-4. Mitchell then came up huge for Austin again when he dove to his left to make the match-winning save to give the Packers the win.
Austin is now 7-10-1 on the season, and they will play top-seeded Winona in the Section 1AA boys’ soccer final next Tuesday at Art Hass Stadium, with kickoff at 5:00 p.m. You’ll hear the match live on AM 1480 KAUS, with the pre-game show getting underway at 4:45 p.m.