NEW BOSTON – 55 minutes of scoreless action started their Division III sectional semifinal contest against Southeastern, but it was a goal scoring frenzy in the final 25 minutes for New Boston that helped the Tigers defeat the Panthers 4-1 on their home field, Saturday.
Saturday’s 4-1 win over Southeastern means that New Boston will advance to Wednesday’s D3 sectional final against Minford on the Falcons home field.
“That was the most consistent we’ve played for a full game,” New Boston coach Greg Mauk said following the win. “We never lost our composure, never got flustered. Southeastern kept forcing us into taking tough shots, and we just continued to get shots where we could. Credit goes to our leaders for leading the team into doing what we were supposed to do. We stayed persistent, and it ended up working out for us in the end.”
After having several shots on goal for the first 55 minutes of game action, including a few looks that came up just wide of the net or into the Panthers goalie’s hands, it was junior Tanner Voiers who got the scoring started for the Tigers, a pace he would keep for the rest of Saturday’s game.
With 25:29 left in the match, Voiers found the back of the net to put New Boston ahead of Southeastern 1-0.
Just under two and a half minutes later, New Boston senior Blake Grant put his mark on Saturday’s sectional semifinal with a goal with 23 minutes left in the game to put the Tigers ahead of the Panthers, 2-0.
Almost exactly four minutes after scoring his first goal of the night, Voiers found the back of the net for the second time off a free kick that skated past the Southeastern goalie with 21:27 left in the game to put New Boston ahead of Southeastern, 3-0.
“It’s really been the story of our team so far this year,” Mauk said. “We find a way to put one in the back of the net, and the whole team feeds off of it. Bringing energy all the way around. This is the best game I’ve seen our team have consistent, positive energy throughout.”
Rather than lay down and quit, Southeastern continued to fight for the full 80 minutes, so much so that sophomore Jacob Lenox scored at the 10:19 mark of the second half to cut New Boston’s lead to 3-1.
Despite the likelihood of their potentially secured victory, New Boston didn’t let up for the full 80 minutes, either.
Voiers found the back of the net for the third and final time Saturday with 2:17 left in the match to put the Tigers ahead of Southeastern 4-1, and to give the junior forward a postseason hat trick.
“They didn’t let up,” Mauk said of his team. “From our defense to our guys up front, it was hustle and heart the whole time. That’s been a struggle at times for us this year, but I’m proud of the way they executed in those things today.”
New Boston’s win Saturday advances them to the Division III sectional final in the Waverly #2 district where they will travel to Minford to take on the Falcons, a trip they are more than familiar with.
In their second game of the season way back on August 20th, Minford shut out the Tigers, 4-0, a result Mauk and his group are hoping to avoid the second time around as they’ll play for a chance to earn the school’s first sectional soccer title since 2009.
“Minford’s a really tough team,” Mauk said. “We played them the second game of the season, so we know what we’re up against. We feel that we’re a totally different team than we were in the second game, but we know Minford’s gotten better as well. They play the right way, they’re great at give and go’s. We’ve got to make sure we close down those spaces and not give them anything easy.”
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