Past games between IMS and West Liberty have featured speed, good defense, even better offense, disputed calls, along with passion and intensity. Throw in some rain and a slippery field and you have the makings of an entertaining high school soccer match.
In the opening minutes of the game both teams created scoring chances. The back line of Justin Boller, Cody Miller, Jameson Lammer and Kirby Shetler had their hands full containing the West Liberty forwards but managed to thwart several early chances. At the other end, IMS also created several scoring opportunities. Fourteen minutes into the half, Dillon Bender sent a ball across the box to Reggie Hostetler who knocked it by the goalie for the early lead.
West Liberty responded with a crossing ball from the right side which was turned into the goal seventeen minutes into the half. Play was back and forth though West Liberty put several long balls in towards the goal. On one of these, goalie Joel Shetler went to grab the ball. The official ruled he knocked over the West Liberty forward and awarded West Liberty a penalty kick and the 2-1 half time lead.
Both teams struggled with the deteriorating field conditions which made ball control difficult. Fourteen minutes into the half, IMS brought the ball down the left side where Lane Schrock and Dillon Bender took the ball deep to the corner. Bender sent a ball across the box where it eventually found its way to Peyton Thompson. Thompson beat two defenders before finding a way to thread the ball into the net from about 18 yards out.
The pace of play picked up as both teams worked hard to find the winning goal. With ten minutes left, West Liberty was awarded a direct kick just outside the box. The shot was deflected but went to a West Liberty player who initiated a pass into the box and a goal.
With the seconds ticking off the clock Jameson Lammer sent a long ball forward where Reggie Hostetler took to the ball into the box and put a shot on goal. The goalie knocked the ball down as several IMS players converged on the spot to try and kick the ball across the line, but unfortunately time ran out.
IMS moves to 11-4 on the season. IMS returns to action, hosting Danville, Friday at 6:45 as part of the SEISC tournament. Tournament play continues Saturday at IMS with semi-final games at 10 and 11:45 and the championship game at 2:00.