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Last-minute save on penalty kick gives Hazen the win
Hazen goalie Erik Johannesson made a save on a penalty kick with less than three minutes left in the game this past Friday to preserve a 1-0 win over Highline and bring the team one step closer to the Seamount League playoffs.
A penalty on a disputed handball with 2:35 left on the clock set up the drama for the game's finish. Johannsson guessed correctly on the kick, but missed anyway and Highline players began to celebrate until one of their own was ruled to have encroached prior to the kick, giving the goalie another shot to keep his team ahead.
In the second penalty kick, Johannesson guessed correct again and this time prevented the ball from going in the net and preserved the 1-0 win as time ran down.
From the start, Hazen came out strong, outshooting the Pirate 6-0 in the first half, and much of the play took place in the Highline end of the field, but Hazen was unable to put the ball into the net.
"I really liked our pace of play and the pressure we put on them in the half," Coach Ken Matthews said in a press release. "Obviously, if we continued to that and score we’d have a chance."
The teams headed to halftime still knotted at nil, but Hazen again came out running and at the five minute mark of the second half, senior forward Isaiah Blount scored off an assist from Reyes Garcia to give the Highlanders the lead.
Continuing to attack, Hazen put up 10 shots to Highline’s two and the game ran down to less than three minutes. A Highline shot hit a Hazen player in "the right chest," according to Matthews, but the refs called a handball setting up the exciting penalty kicks at the game's end.
Hazen (6-2-4 overall, 5-1-4 in leagues) plays Foster (8-1-2, 7-1-2) today, Tuesday, at Foster.