The Wildcat boys saw yet a third game ripped from them this season by a poor decision. The boys were brilliant in their match vs perennial powerhouse Valley (IA) at the Valley Invite in Des Moines. The speed of play, the effort, the movement off the ball and the “Eleven as One” mentality on defense was superb. Millard West rattled off shots early and often with the likes of Daniel Gornell, Braedan Evans and Kolby Fahner all getting looks after a fast start to the match. The addition of Senior Captain Andrew Hall to the back line alongside fellow Senior Captain Danny Zapata made for a formidable center back pairing that, despite being outpaced by incredibly fast forwards from Valley, read the game perfectly and timed their challenges brilliantly. Senior GK Sam Fedde had one of the best nights of long career at MW posting a third clean sheet on the season coming up with some big saves and well timed movements off his line throughout the match.
Neither side could find the back of the net and by tournament rules the match went straight to PKs. Millard West missed the first, then Valley followed with a miss of their own. Millard West converted the second kick and Fedde came up with massive stop on the second only to see the referee blow the whistle and order a retake on the premise that Fedde moved 2 steps off his line. The fact is that Goalkeepers are constantly moving off their line during PK’s and this time was no different, for either keeper. To see that call in that moment left all 4 Millard West coaches in disbelief. Valley converted the retake, Millard West made 2 of the final 3 tries and Valley made 3 of 3 to take the win.
The boys learned a lot about their potential and the effort required to play a complete match. The learning outweighs the disappointment but certainly this one moves to the wrong side of the ledger for yet again the wrong reason.