University High’s boys soccer team was nothing short of stunned when Parkview Baptist went up 2-0 early in the first half.
The No. 2 team in Division III didn’t know what hit it as it struggled to connect on even the easiest of goals while the Eagles capitalized on both of their shots in the first 21 minutes.
Desperate to spark a change, coach Chris Mitchell took his center back and sent him up top to give U-High four forwards, something it hadn’t done all season.
The adjustment worked because U-High scored three unanswered goals to steal a 3-2 victory from its district rival.
“I don’t know what it was,” Mitchell said of the early deficit. “It was almost shell shocked. One goal and I think we were OK. But then the second goal and we missed those two easy ones. Everyone was like,’What’s going on?’
“That’s when we knew we had to shock them.”
For the first 20 minutes everything was going Parkview Baptist’s (12-5-3) way.
Griffin Fetters was the first to hit the back of the net when he ripped a 25-yard shot from the center of the field. He then earned an assist in the 21st minute when he set up Daniel Mayes.
But in stoppage time of the first half, after U-High (10-3-6) made its adjustment, Connor Kirkpatrick picked up a rebound from about 20 yards out, which he promptly snuck inside the far post.
From there, the Cubs took control.
Two minutes into the second half, Nils Newhouser, the defender turned forward, tied the game when a missed clearance bounced off his legs and into the goal.
Jack Shelby finally scored the game-winner on a penalty kick a few minutes later.
“It’s a team you have to play your best for 80 minutes in order to beat them,” Parkview coach Roger Charcap said. “We did it for 65-70. Not the full 80. Those 10 minutes killed us.”
U-High girls 5, Parkview Baptist 0: Having to celebrate senior night at an opponents’ stadium was a little easier for the U-High girls after shutting out Parkview Baptist.
Monday’s doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played at U-High, but rain earlier that day forced a move to Parkview’s turf field.
That didn’t stop Alyssa Reeves, though, who led the Cubs with a pair of goals in the 23rd and 73rd minutes.
She was joined by Mia Hau in the 12th minute, Clacey Tibbits in the 54th and Victoria Labarre in the 67th.
“The team did a good job,” said U-High coach Melissa Ramsey. “They all worked together and were pretty successful. We still have things we need to work on, but I was pleased with their performance.”
Parkview coach Matthew Hanisee said, despite the disparity on the scoreboard, he was proud of the way his team played tough throughout.
The Cubs controlled possession from start to finish with the ball rarely leaving their offensive third of the field.
In the second half, U-High outshot the Eagles 10-0, putting three of those tries in the back of the net.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to grow and improve,” Hanisee said. “U-High has been the gold standard in our district for a while, so what we really need to get from this is what steps we need to take to get to them.”
Follow Mike Gegenheimer on Twitter, @Mike_Gegs.