No. 2 Indian Springs advances to title with thrilling PK win against No. 1 team
Published 8:36 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
HUNTSVILLE – With the pressure of the season and a chance to repeat as state champions on the line, the Indian Springs boys soccer team found itself in semifinal penalty-kick shootout with the No. 1 team on Thursday night, May 12.
In a rematch of last year’s semifinals against Montgomery Academy, Springs stepped up with clutch shots from Nathan Tozzi, Gus Colvin, Josh Bramblett and Nick Johnson.
The most important, however, came from Johnson.
In a 3-3 tie through four kicks, he stepped up and buried a shot on Indian Springs’ fifth attempt.
By doing so, he at the least guaranteed his team would continue playing.
Little did he know at the time, it was going to become the game winner.
Montgomery Academy stepped to the ball seconds later, and the game-tying attempt was inches too far right, ricocheting off the top right corner of the crossbar.
Indian Springs goalkeeper Sims Tosh, who just missed deflecting the shot by inches, fell to the ground in disbelief as his team charged onto the field in celebration after edging out the Wildcats 3-2 (4-3 in PKs)
It was the second-biggest moment of overtime for Tosh, who guessed right on the shot, which possibly affected its height off the foot.
A few shots earlier, however, he made a crucial save.
After team-leader Jackson Nabors had his shot blocked, Tosh had his back.
Montgomery Academy took a shot, and as Tosh fell to his left, he stuck his foot out and was able to narrowly boot it away to keep the Wildcats from taking the early lead in PKs.
That created a 1-1 tie through two attempts. From there, Colvin, Bramblett and Johnson made their shots in clutch fashion, ultimately leading to the win.
It capped off a thrilling game that saw Indian Springs have an answer to each goal scored by Montgomery Academy.
In the early going, Tozzi was able to give Springs a 1-0 lead 7:13 into the game. He got loose, and Christopher Bradley found him perfectly for a header to make it 1-0.
The next 20 minutes featured slower action, as the two teams traded possession, but the Eagles eventually pushed in a header of their own from Alex Kohn off a deep play in From John Allen.
That evened the score with 9:32 to play in the half.
It took less than a minute, however, for a response.
Montgomery Academy was slow getting back after the goal, and Jackson Nabors made the Eagles pay.
He received a long play up the field in full sprint, which he was able to capitalize on by taking the ball into the box, making two dribbles to his right, and drilling a shot into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead, which ultimately became the halftime score.
In a much lower-scoring second half, it looked like that may be the final score, as Springs was able to fend off attacks from the Eagles in the second half.
But they never could find that insurance goal, and Montgomery Academy made them pay.
With 6:49 left in the game, Braxton Welch was able to score an unassisted equalizer that eventually forced overtime in a 2-2 tie.
Neither, however, scored in the first or second overtimes, which led to the PK shootout and the eventual win for Springs.
Now, they’ll get another rematch with Russellville in the state championship on Friday, May 13 looking to repeat as champs.