The Independence High School Patriots Men’s Soccer team defeated their arch rival Butler Bulldogs in the first Round of the State 4A Soccer Championships on the road 2-0. From the opening it appeared it was going to be the Patriots night. They dominated the time of possession and the tempo of the entire game.
The Number 16 ranked Bulldogs could not get untracked against an aggressive Number 17 ranked Patriots defense. Even the crowd which was loud and supportive of 350 vocal and enthusiastic fans in the Dog Pound could not turn the tide.
In fact the Patriots dominance could have made the score even more in their favor if it were not for a controversial and questionable offside call nullifying an apparent goal by junior Chase Davis at 19 minutes after the officials huddled to take the point off the scoreboard. Also, if C. Van Than had connected on what looked like a sure goal early in the match.
However, the Patriots were methodical in their taking down of the of the Bulldogs. Freshman David Martinez did finally score when he knocked in a goal off a rebound from a shot by C. Van Than and rocketed the ball into the net at 12:00 minutes remaining on the first half game clock. The first half ended with Independence leading by a slim 1-0 margin.
In the second half Butler came out of the shoot more motivated to get a score and put some additional pressure on Indy goalkeeper Omar Arellano who recorded six saves in the match. Arellano was up to the task and did a fine job in the net to obtain the clean sheet.
Meanwhile, after the second offside call by the officials took away another apparent goal by the Patriots, standout junior and all-time record setting season goal scorer C. Van Than found the range and smacked a header past the Bulldogs goalkeeper at 25:00 minutes into the second half to give the Patriots some breathing room to make the score 2-0. This goal was C. Van’s 31st goal of the season adding to his new school single season scoring record.
The contest continued and the Bulldogs had a sense of urgency, however, the Patriots defense did an outstanding job in keeping their opponents at bay throughout the remainer of the match.
The Patriots move on to Round 2 on Saturday night November 4th when they play Hough High School in Cornelius, NC on the road at 4:00 PM.