Pirates tally two goals in final 10 minutes, defeat Hornets
By Murray Gleffe
SUAMICO – For much of the past five years, the Green Bay Preble boys’ soccer team has been the team to beat in the Fox River Classic Conference.
In 2019, Bay Port grabbed the reins, and it doesn’t want to let go of it after the 2020 fall season was canceled due to COVID-19.
In the latest version April 13, the Pirates tallied two goals in the final 10 minutes to defeat the Hornets 3-1 at Bay Port High School.
“It’s amazing when you’re a coach for a team that is athletic and skilled,” said Travis Herber, Bay Port head coach. “We have kids who can create their shot and understand how to play well.”
The Pirates (5-1 overall) controlled much of the first half on the offensive end.
In the 32nd minute, Bay Port’s Payton Schilz found himself open in front of the net, but he couldn’t connect, as the game remained scoreless.
Near intermission, Oscar Hernandez and Brady Bosacki had scoring opportunities for Preble, but Bay Port goalkeeper Evan LaViolette turned both shots away.
“Evan is smart between the net,” Herber said. “His time is now as a senior. I feel comfortable with him back there. When times are tough, he’ll do whatever it takes to make a save.”
Nine minutes into the second half, Nelson Smith scored to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Later, Preble head coach Chris Becker was issued a yellow card for excessive chatter with the lead umpire.
“I know I got a card for yelling and screaming,” said Becker. “Part of it was to motivate our guys to get out of the funk. They seemed out of it. I needed to give them a spark. They got fired up on the bench, and it eventually led to good things for the next 10 minutes.”
Whatever the message, it worked.
Preble (3-2-1) evened the contest 1-1 in the 73rd minute when Sergio Garcia scored off a ball that LaViolette couldn’t pin down.
With less than 10 minutes remaining and a tie looming, Peyton Nichols took a long ball, danced around the middle of the field, and sent a blast in from 20 yards that found the net to give Bay Port a 2-1 lead.
“Their midfield outplayed ours,” said Becker. “They had lots more energy in the center of the field. We couldn’t get the passing together, which we normally get to help set up our offense.”
With the air seemingly taken out of their sails, the Hornets didn’t get back on defense three minutes later.
Ryan Amond sent the Pirates into victory mode when he found the right half of the Preble net for the final margin.
“I’m not surprised we got three goals against a good Preble team,” said Herber. “I don’t think we’ve even got to our full potential. We are limited with scheduling and practice, so we have to take advantage of our opportunities where we can get them.”
Green Bay Preble: 0, 1 — 1
Bay Port: 0, 3 — 3