CLARKSTON - In a matter of minutes, the 2013 season came to an end for the Heritage boy’s soccer team. No. 7 Lakeside-DeKalb took advantage of a pair of misses by Heritage in penalty kicks, out-scoring the No. 8 Patriots 4-2 to win the Class AAAAA second round match at James R. Hallford Stadium.
Lakeside-DeKalb (14-4-2) defeated Heritage in the state playoffs for the third time in six seasons, and the Region 6 champions will play in this weekend’s state quarterfinals. Heritage, playing in the round of 16 for the first time since 2007, finished 14-4-2.
After each team scored a goal during regulation, two scoreless overtime periods followed, which led to a penalty kicks session. In the first two rounds, George Gavrielides and Andy Person scored for Lakeside; Harrison and Austin Kulp for Heritage. Things turned in Lakeside’s favor after that.
Dawit Alemu and Sebastian Arroqui got shots past Patriots’ keeper Conner Domeleski, but Heritage didn’t score again as Grant Crain hit the crossbar and Andre Deas was wide with the final shot of the night.
“We work on (penalty kicks) in training, we just didn’t hit them," said Heritage coach Brandon Stewart. "Those are two guys (Crain and Deas) that don’t usually miss in training. You just can’t let it get to that, you can’t let it get to penalties in the playoffs, because it’s a crap shoot. That’s the cruel game of soccer, it happens all the time.”
Lakeside didn’t score until 15 minutes remained in the game, pulling even at 1-1 on a goal by Cheikh Faye. Gavrielides had a shot to give the Vikings the lead 11 minutes later, but Domeleski made a diving save.
It looked as if the first goal of the night would be enough for the visitors from Conyers. With 29:29 to play in the second half, Lakeside keeper Susjed Garcia gambled and tried to play a ball out in front of the net, but Austin Kulp scored to put Heritage up 1-0. Heritage put pressure on Lakeside a number of times over the final 29 minutes of regulation, and had two chances to make it a two-goal game, but Austin Kulp was high with a shot and with 11:47 left Joe Switay’s header was high.
“We were the better team today we just didn’t get a second goal,” Stewart said. “I don’t think they recover if we go up two. We just didn’t get a (second) goal, we had our chances, we just didn’t finish. And that’s the story of the playoffs, if you don’t take the few chances you go home.”
Both teams had a handful of chances during a scoreless opening half.
Heritage had a pair of shots on Garcia within the first 11 minutes of the game, but Garcia scooped up attempts by Deas, at the 33:57 mark, and Delvin Bickham with 29:20 to play.
The host Vikings’ best first half chance came with just over nine minutes until halftime. Lakeside played a ball into the box and Faye’s header was saved by Domeleski. Before that, Domeleski saved a shot by Gavrielides with 30:32 left and Alemu was wide at the 11-minute mark.