Spartan boys’ soccer season ends on penalty kicks

Nick Wise of Spearfish gets ready to execute a throw-in. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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SPEARFISH — Spearfish’s varsity boys’ soccer season ended Tuesday night as the Spartans fell 2-1 to Rapid City Central in a first-round Class AA playoff game. The contest required penalty kicks to determine the winner.

“Their young keeper (Rapid City Central’s Conner Warren) had the game of his life,” Spearfish head coach Jim Hill said. “He saved at least three, if not four, very quality shots.”

Caleb Hower scored from the right side 7 1/2 minutes into the game as 11th-seeded Central took a 1-0 lead. Spearfish players Robert Erskin, Lucas Rodgers, Rudy Isburg, Logan Larsen, and Yohannes Peterson recorded shots on goal, but the Spartans trailed 1-0 at halftime.

Spearfish, the number 6 seed, forged a 1-1 tie on a Dagoberto Rodriguez goal with 23 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Rodgers, Nick Wise, and Isburg shot at the goal; regulation ended 1-1.

Overtime consisted of two periods, 10 minutes apiece. Spearfish had shots from Jensen Damberg and Rodgers in that first session, which ended in a 1-1 tie.

The teams switched ends of the field for the second half of overtime. Bridger Meyer, Isburg, and Rodriguez were among the Spearfish players recording shots, but the score remained 1-1.

A shootout followed, with Rapid City Central going first on alternating attempts. All five Central players scored compared to three for Spearfish (Tyler Borchgrevink, Erskin, and Peterson). That 5-3 advantage enabled Central to post the 2-1 win and advance to Saturday’s second round.

“We had our chances,” said Hill, whose team ends its season at nine wins, four losses, and one tie. He added the Spartans did not make the best of some of those, with others being good chances that did not get past Warren.

“It’s just hard to swallow right now, especially for the kids,” Hill said in describing the setback. “That’s life. It has its up’s, and it has its down’s.”

Other first-round scores from Tuesday follow.

No. 1 Sioux Falls Jefferson 3, No. 16 Harrisburg 0

No. 8 Sioux Falls O’Gorman 2, No. 9 Huron 1

No. 4 Aberdeen Central 8, No. 13 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 0

No. 5 Sioux Falls Washington 3, No. 12 Brandon Valley 0

No. 2 Rapid City Stevens 10, No. 15 Watertown 0

No. 7 Sioux Falls Lincoln 1, No. 10 Pierre 0

No. 3 Yankton 3, No. 14 Brookings 0

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