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Penalty kick the difference for Cougars
DIXFIELD -- There are times when a team is carrying the play, however, has nothing to show for it and that's exactly the situation Dirigo found itself in because the scoreboard still read goose eggs after 58 minutes of play in a boys' soccer game.
Finally, another opportunity materialized and Randy DeRoche notched a goal off a penalty kick midway through the second half and it held up as the Cougars walked away with a 1-0 triumph against Oak Hill.
Dirigo had planned to hit the field running and that was established instantly by controlling the ball. The Cougars immediately advanced the ball toward the Raiders end and the defense had no other option but to converge in front of their goalie The Cougars pressure was relentless, with brothers Oscar and Randy DeRoche, Cody Dolloff, Ben Buck and Colton Woods each having chances with boots toward the net in the first half.
''A win is a win,” said Dirigo coach Owen Libby, following the game. “I felt good about the effort by the team, because we really had our chances. But we was not able to execute.”
Several balls were crossed in front of the net, but there wasn't a Dirigo player in position. Buck set-up Dolloff and Dylan Lord advanced a ball to Oscar DeRoche on the right wing and a shot was saved waist high.
In the second half, Dirigo had opened with Oscar DeRoche hitting the cross bar and Dolloff kicking a ball wide right. On a rush, Woods was nailed by a Raider defender and a penalty kick was awarded. Randy DeRoche squared up and booted the ball along the ground to the left of the keeper. The goalie was tall and failed to get down and the ball rolled into the net.
Libby moved up stopper Brian Volkernick up for more offense and the senior immediately put a shot on net.
Cougar defenders Jason Baldinelli, Aighden Weisler and Sam Rock each had solid performances clearing balls away consistently.
Weisler had 10 clears, on his own. Oak Hill was unable to get in the offense box.
Dirigo goalie Justin Grignon touched the ball twice, once in each half.
''We had some younger guys step up and do a good job,'' said Libby. ''They were welcomed contributors because some starters was missing. When they return, we need to spread the field more.''