Less than a minute into Tuesday night’s Divison 1 regional semifinal, Nick Scarpino’s pass bounced gently in front of Michael Moran. The Grand Haven senior let it fly, perfectly placing his shot in the upper-right corner for the game’s initial score.
It was one of the last bounces the Buccaneers would get, and one of only three shots they managed in the contest.
Okemos scored the game-tying goal later in the first half, then the Chieftans beat the Bucs in the shootout to take a 2-1 victory at Caledonia High School.
The two squads were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, and both failed to find the net in overtime, bringing the game to a shootout.
Okemos got off to a 1-0 lead, as the Bucs’ Christian Dault sent his shot wide right.
Both squads scored on their second attempt, then Garrison Mast blocked the third Okemos shot. Grand Haven’s Alex Fagan kicked a ball in low and to the left, tying the shootout, 3-3.
The fourth kickers for both schools connected, setting the stage for the fifth and final ones.
Okemos hit its shot, the the Chiefs’ goalie blocked Moran’s effort, bringing the game to its 2-1 conclusion.
“Credit Okemos because they played a great game,” said Bucs’ senior captain John Strainer, who like many of his fellow seniors and teammates was emotional after the hard-fought loss. “It’s kind of tough losing it like that on a PK shootout because we really felt that we were the better team.”
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