Boys Soccer: Instant Classic
Some of Penn Charter's boys soccer players, along the sideline, were packing their belongings. Others were talking in mostly subtle tones and/or munching on cupcakes.
Then, star senior defender Conrad Williams walked through/around the group and said to no one in particular, with not even a hint of anger, and more in lighthearted fashion, actually, "Regardless, I'm calling that a tie. When you get to THAT many penalty kicks . . . I'm calling that a tie."
Minutes earlier, in the post-game meeting, coach Bobby DiBenedetto had told his players, with gusto, "We have nothing to prove to anybody. I could not be any more proud."
The occasion Wednesday night at Immaculata University was the PAISAA's boys state championship game between PC and Hill School, of Pottstown.
No one scored through 80 minutes of regulation. Ditto for 10 minutes of overtime. Rarely did either team come close.
The teams then set up shop at the goal closest to the stadium's entrance and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and . . .
Twenty-six penalty kicks were attempted. Hill racked up a 12-11 advantage to win the game.
Each team hit four of five in the standard portion of the shootout session. Continuing with the Hill first/PC second order, the teams wound up combining for 18 consecutive goals – at one point, a student rooter could be heard yelling, "C'mon, we have school tomorrow!" – before what turned out to be the Quakers' final attempt was thwarted toward the upper right corner.
"A 12-11 score on penalty kicks," DiBenedetto said. "In all my years around soccer, I've never been part of anything close to that."
PC's first PK was blocked. Scores by junior Connor Sullivan, junior Andrew Morris, freshman Jude Shorr-Parks and senior Max Jacobs made it 4-4. Senior Jay Jennings smothered Hill's fourth attempt.
Thereafter, the Quakers received scores from soph Ethan "ET" Cripe, soph Billy Melnick, senior Chris "Clemmo" Lemmo, junior Matt Kestenbaum, senior Dylan Schwartz, Williams and Sullivan. Players are permitted to take second shots beyond the first 10 attempts.
Congrats to the Quakers, the outright Inter-Ac champs, on a wonderful season. And major props to all students/adults who traveled to Immaculata and gave the players enthusiastic, relentless and entertaining support.
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