The Staley Mustangs 7th Grade Boys Soccer team faced the top seeded team in the district this morning in round 2 of the District Tournament. The Wester Wildcats controlled the pace of the game for most of the first half. The Wildcats kept the Staley defense busy and took several shots on goal during the first ten minutes of play. Staley began to pick up the pace, and started pressing forward. However, Wester's offense was talented and quick. They scored at the 12 minute mark as one of the forwards worked his way around the Staley defenders and drove the ball into the net from five yards out. Wester took the lead 1-0. Wester added to its lead a minute and half later, as Staley was call for tripping in the box. The Wester offender and the Staley goalie faced off against each other. Wester went up 2-0 as the ball skipped just over the finger tips of the keeper. The rest of the half, the Staley defense stayed busy while the offense took a few shots on goal.
The second half opened up with Staley being more aggressive. They played hard and took the ball down the field, several times. The Staley defense dug in, that, along with the excellent play of the goal keeper, kept the Wildcats out of the net. The Mustangs really picked it up after one of the team's top defenders went down with an injury. After some great defense, the ball was sent up the field, which Travis touched the ball over to Austin, who staved off two defenders, then crossed the ball hard into the goal at the midway mark of the second half. That was the turning point, the Mustangs were on fire. The last fifteen minutes, the Staley Mustangs played the best they have played all season. They played with grit, determination and heart. Staley's offense attacked and had several very close calls and the defense made some stellar saves. With two minutes left in the game, Austin took a sideline pass, and drilled it into the net from 30 yards out. The game was tied 2-2. The Staley fans were elated. The tension and excitement was high as the Staley boys tried with all their might to get the game winning goal before the end of regulation. Unfortunately, the shots did not get past the keeper. So, it came down to PK's. The Mustangs had one kick blocked, while the Wildcats had 5 of theirs go to the back of the net.
While the scoreboard showed a 7-5 final score, the Staley Mustangs did not lose the game, they were just outscored. The boys played the best team in the district and in the second half dominated the game. They held the Wildcats scoreless for three quarters of the game. It was a grueling, physical game for the Mustangs. They overcame adversity and played a great game of soccer. The Mustangs went on to play in the consolation game at 11:30.