Waterloo makes CYC tourney final; Eagles fall

Waterloo’s Sean Kirkpatrick passes the ball Friday night against Triad. (John Spytek photo)

Games between conference rivals are always difficult. They are even more difficult when a spot in a tournament championship game is on the line.

The Waterloo Bulldogs soccer squad was able to overcome conference adversary Triad, 4-3, Friday night in the CYC Tournament semifinal played in Fenton, Mo. The game was a rematch of a contest played barely a week ago, when Waterloo edged out a 1-0 victory in a game defined by defense. This game was almost the complete opposite, as the teams staged an offensive shootout with plenty of fireworks.

In Friday’s early semifinal contest, Columbia lost for the first time all season, falling 2-1 to Timberland.

The ‘Dogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of their contest. Adam Shelby got the Bulldogs on the board first, drilling home a bouncing ball played into the box by teammate Jared Goessling. Three minutes later, Clay Metz made it 2-0, hammering the ball off the post and into the net from the top of the box.

Waterloo was unable to sustain the energy and pressure, however, allowing Triad back into the game. With about 23 minutes left in the half, the Knights scored on a corner kick. Ten minutes later, Triad scored again, this time on a shot from deep. The game was tied 2-2 at halftime.

The action picked up where it left off in the second half. Both teams had several quality scoring opportunities, and there was plenty of end-to-end action. Metz notched his second of the night, slotting a sharp shot past the Triad keeper to make it 3-2 Bulldogs. But the lead was short-lived, as the Knights struck back moments later on a header.

Less than three minutes after Triad tied the game, Waterloo took the lead again. Kane Osterhage made an incredible run into the box, beating several defenders along the way. The speedy junior midfielder then slid the ball across to teammate Sean Kirkpatrick, who emphatically slammed it into the net to give his team a 4-3 lead.

Waterloo goalkeeper Tyler Chitty made a remarkable lunging save to preserve the lead late.

The win propelled Waterloo into the tournament championship game against Timberland on Saturday.

The Eagles looked a bit slow out of the gate and Timberland, the defending tournament champions, took advantage, scoring on a corner kick to take a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the match. The pace of the game slowed considerably following the goal, with very little action from either side. Columbia went into the half trailing 1-0, and in need of a pep talk.

The Eagles came out with noticeably more energy in the second half, but it was Timberland who made the first big play of the half. The Wolves scored on a rebound to take a 2-0 lead with 33 minutes remaining.

Logan Cannon lived up to his name, firing a cannonball into the back of the net to cut the deficit back to one.

Columbia was not able, however, to build any momentum from Cannon’s goal, and the Eagles fell to 10-1-2 on the season.

In Saturday’s title game, Waterloo had a 1-0 halftime lead against Timberland and battled back to force overtime after Timberland scored two quick goals in the second half. In overtime, Timberland scored to take a 3-2 win in what was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulldogs. Kirkpatrick scored both goals for Waterloo.

Read a full recap of CYC tourney action in the Republic-Times newspaper.

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