Indy soccer season ends in the third-round playoff loss at Myers Park

The guys huddle before the game. (Ron Morris)
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On Tuesday night the Independence Patriots’ soccer team upset the state’s number 8 ranked and the west regional number 1 seed team, Northwest Guilford Vikings 1-0. The win advanced the Patriots to the sweet 16 to face the Myers Park Mustangs for a third time this season. Indy entered the NCHSAA playoffs as a number 16 seed in the western regional. Myers Park came in as the number 8 seed. The teams split during the regular season with each squad scoring a home victory. In the first half Myers Park used a near constant attack on the goal and a pressure defense as the Mustangs shut out the Patriots 3-0 in the third round playoff match Thursday night at Myers Park High School.

Myers Park was able to push the ball into its offensive half of the field for most of the first half. The Mustangs took four shots before Myers Park passed the ball across the front of the goal to Matt Hedrick who was on the left side of the penalty box. Hedrick took the shot and scored with a shot into the right side of the goal and took a 1-0 lead at the 30:40 mark of the first half.

Less than three minutes later, Myers Park was awarded a corner kick.  As the ball went past the goal, Mustangs’ Daniel Watts made a shot into the right side of the goal to put Myers Park up 2-0.

Indy’s Nigel Johnson fight for the ball. (Ron Morris)

Later in the half Indy’s Nigel Johnson and Myers Park’s Daniel Watts were fighting for the ball inside the Indy penalty box.  Nigel Johnson got flipped to the ground, but the center referee called the foul against Johnson giving Watts a one-on-one penalty kick inside the Indy penalty box. Watts made the shot to the left side of the goal to make the score 3-0 with 11:02 showing on the game clock.

As the half wound down both teams took several more shots but neither team scored as the first half ended with Indy trailing 3-0.

In the second half the Patriots stepped up their defense and held the Mustangs scoreless. In the second half the Patriots had several scoring opportunities but was unable to get the ball into the goal.  At the 25:15 mark, the Patriots came close but the shot was wide of the goal. With 21:31 left to play Indy missed on a corner kick, and at the 10:10 mark Dino Silva took a shot that just missed on the right side of the goal.

Senior Dino Silva and a Myers Park player attempts to head the ball. (Ron Morris)

At the 2:44 mark, Chase Davis made a shot from the left side of the box but the referee waved off the goal calling Indy for an offside penalty. The game ended as Myers Park took the victory 3-0. The loss ended the Patriots’ season. The Patriots posted a 16-7-1 record and advanced to the State’s sweet 16. Myers Park advanced to the elite eight and will face Hough.

Indy’s head coach Tyler Gibson said, “The season was a lot of fun.  It was the kids, and they really bought into what Coach Helmuth, Coach Shimko and I wanted them to do.  Once they bought into what we wanted and understood what they were able to accomplish, that is when we saw everything grow and come together.  I’m very proud of this group and the seniors.  The seniors are the type of kids you don’t really replace. You just try to find a way to make the next team as good as possible.  I’m going to miss this group.”

Indy’s goalkeeper Adam Ali makes the save. (Ron Morris

Indy soccer will say good-bye to the following seniors: Chase Davis, Nigel Johnson, Dino Silva, Ah Sang, Cvan Than, Gopal Dhimal, Augn San and Adam Ali.

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