Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Eric Weetman and his Solon soccer teammates didn’t get the start they wanted at their home tournament on Saturday.
Thanks to Weetman the Spartans got a much better ending to the day.
After dropping its opener at the Spartan Soccer Classic to Albia in a shootout Solon used a save from Weetman to close the day with a penalty kick shootout win over Fairfield (1-3) in the third-place match.
Class 1A fourth-ranked Solon added a 10-0 win over Prince of Peace to finish the day 2-1 while improving to 6-1 on the season.
“After that first match we were down and we came back in the second game but to go back into PKs and win it this time was important for our confidence,” Weetman said. “That felt good.”
Solon and Albia failed to score in 70 minutes of regulation and went straight to penalty kicks per tournament rules.
Weetman failed to stop an Albia shot and Solon missed all three of its attempts as the Blue Devils won 3-0.
In his second shot at a shootout scenario Weetman came up big, stopping the first Fairfield attempt.
Solon didn’t miss in the shootout as Luke McInnis, Luke Yetley, Isaac Vang, Nick Radcliffe and Jorel Justus all converted attempts.
“You put yourself in situations like that at least you come out with a win,” Solon coach Jeremy McMurrin said. “It’s a good learning experience for later on in the year if we have to go to that situation. You could see how much we improved from the first one this morning.”
Solon didn’t look like they would need penalty kicks to close the day with a win.
Luke Yetley scored on a penalty kick following a handball in the box to put Solon up 1-0 less than seven minutes into the game.
Gabe Yetley added a goal five minutes later to put Solon up 2-0.
It was penalty kicks that got Fairfield back in the match.
Chaysten Titus converted a penalty kick after a handball in the box with 17:30 left and four minutes later tied the match with his second penalty kick, this time after a foul in the box.
Neither team scored in the final 14 minutes sending the match to a shootout.
“I just kind of worried that their whole team was going to hit PKs like those first two,” Weetman said. “Those were good shots but I just had to put that out of my mind. “
Weetman came up big immediately as he made a diving save of a Xavier Kapijimpanga attempt to start the shootout.
“I just totally forgot about (the first shootout) and guessed right the second time,” Weetman said. “I tripped a little bit on the drive but luckily it was close enough I could get a hand on.”
That was all the Spartans would need to get the win as they hit all five of their attempts.
Justus closed out the match hammering a shot past Fairfield keeper Brendon Lunsford for the win.
“We’ve always told Eric as a goalkeeper if you can get one you have done your job,” McMurrin said. “If you get one save the rest is on your team. For him to start off like that for us was huge.”
Justus scored four goals and Isaac Vang had three in a 10-0 win over Prince of Peace in the Spartans second match.
Ben McAtee, Gabe Yetley and Braxton Hobbs each added a goal in the win.