Soldan stuns Duchesne in PKs as backup keeper comes up large
ST. CHARLES • Any time a high school soccer game heads into the decisive penalty-kick shootout, the contest becomes one of chance.
Soldan coach Jeremy Resmann took a calculated risk during the Tigers' Class 2 sectional against Duchesne Tuesday at Steve Stahl Stadium at St. Charles West.
Junior goalkeeper Fabian Yabwana saw his first action in relief of senior keeper Asanay Aroro just for the shootout and he made the only stop as the Tigers outscored Duchesne 5-4. The match went to penalties after it was tied at 1 after two overtimes.
“I just saw him moving, read his eyes,” said Yabwana of the save he made on Duchesne senior defender Brian Rehagen. “I was like 'let me just go to the left', and there he was. He was looking there all the way.”
Resmann said the risk was a calculated one that paid off.
“He just finds the ball,” Resmann said. “We practice this a lot and he has the ability to come through and make the big save.”
With the save made, the game rested on the foot of senior Hassan Abdallah.
Abdallah buried his penalty shot into the lower left corner to send the Soldan faithful into a frenzy and the Tigers into Saturday's Class 2 quarterfinal with the win. Soldan (11-2-1) will host Moberly (21-4) at Gateway STEM at a time to be determined.
“I was very emotional walking up, I didn't even think about the penalty,” Abdallah said. “As I was walking up, I covered my face. I didn't know what to do. God helped me. I just placed it at the right place.”
In addition to Abdallah, the Tigers got shootout goals from junior midfielder Hussein Abdallah, junior midfielder Moussa Ndiaye, senior forward Eric Habonimana and senior defender Hamadi Mohando.
The No. 9 small school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, Duchesne (14-8-2) got shootout goals from senior forward Tom Seidel, sophomore midfielder Jimmy Choinka, senior defender John Schurwan and senior forward Juan Garcia.
“PKs are always tough but it has to end somehow,” Duchesne coach Patrick Turner said. “I have to tip my cap to Soldan, they are a great team. They have a lot of speed and a lot of threats. We did fight hard to come back. It's just an unfortunate way to end the season.”
Duchesne tied the game in the closing minutes of regulation as Sam Muska redirected a header off a corner kick.
Duchesne had a pair of other golden opportunities in regulation but the Soldan defense cleared an apparent goal off the back line and Aroro made a diving save on midfielder Brendan Williers' shot just inside the left post.
“I feel awesome about the team because we work hard together,” Aroro said. “We're a good team. I was happy to do my part.”
Just under 10 minutes into the game, Soldan took the lead when Hassan Abdallah knocked a breakaway past Pioneers' junior goalkeeper Blake Goewert.
“The goalie stopped it,” said Abdullah of his first effort on the breakaway. “I had to hit the ball again. It was a great goal. It was awesome. They came back, though, and they surprised us. It was a great, awesome game. This is the first time we've done this and I am so proud of my teammates. I am proud of these guys.”
Resmann said he is excited for what the Tigers have done to this point and can't wait to see what lies ahead.
“It's great for the city, but it's really great for this school,” Resmann said. “I've been working with these guys for three years and we've made a name for Soldan. These kids have worked hard as a family to get this done. There are eight different languages spoken (by players on the team) but they have all come together as a family and earned this chance through hard work.”