Knights fall to Bayside in shootout
Published 9:44 am Monday, May 16, 2016
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
HUNTSVILLE – After Westminster beat cross-county rival Indian Springs in the 1A-3A Elite Eight on May 7 in a thrilling shootout, the Knights could not repeat the feat in their second-straight Final Four appearance, and lost to Bayside Academy in a shootout 1-1 (4-2).
The Knights, who started the season 0-4-1, had made something of a resurgence through the second-half of the season, and were firing on all cylinders heading into the playoffs after spending much of the season trying to find an identity, particularly on offense after losing a hyper-talented class that led Westminster to the 2015 1A-3A state title, and were 12-3-0 in games since March 5 heading into the Final Four matchup with Bayside.
The only two goals scored in the game that did not come from penalty kicks came in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Bayside’s Seth Ferguson found the back of the net in the 31st minute, beating Brodie Winks and giving the Admirals a 1-0 lead. However, in the 38th minute Westminster’s Jack Wilson tied things up, and the two went into the half tied 1-1.
The second half was a defensive struggle, as neither offense could get going, and after a scoreless second 40 minutes and two scoreless overtime periods, the Knights headed to their second-straight penalty-kick shootout.
In the shootout, senior Bayside keeper Richard O’Neill took over the hero role that Winks had filled in the Knights’ game against Indian Springs. O’Neill blocked Westminster’s first two shots, and after the Admirals hit on four of their five shots, won the game, denying Westminster’s bid for a second-straight title.
The Knights ended the season with a 12-8-1 record and a second-straight trip to the 1A-3A Final Four.