ANDERSON — Late-summer heat, combined with even play, helped push the Liberty Christian and Anderson Prep soccer teams to their limits Tuesday at Davis Park.
It became up to nine kickers and both goalkeepers to settle this city derby.
Two goals by LC in the penalty-kick phase stood up, and the Lions outscored the Jets 2-1 in the shootout after they battled to a 2-apiece count through 80 regular minutes and two seven-minute extra periods.
Cole Foreman netted both of the Lions’ goals from scrimmage five minutes apart early in the second half and, after over-shooting a PK later in the second half, completed a hat trick with the Lions’ first tally of the shootout.
The Lions improved to 3-4 and 2-2 in the Pioneer Academic Athletic Conference, while APA (3-3-2, 1-3 PAAC) dropped its third in a row.
“Being a city rival, we knew they were a lot better and we knew it would be a tough game,” LC coach DJ Callahan said. “So coming in knowing that and playing well, I’m proud of them.”
LC had to respond to and shake off a PK goal by APA senior Carlos Vazquez in the 31st minute. A hand ball in the penalty area warranted the penalty.
Foreman finished a perfect cross from Landan McCord in the right side and headed it past APA keeper Aidan Wilson in the 45th minute. It was Foreman’s first goal of the season.
It took just five minutes for Foreman to net goal No. 2. Josh Cabello fed Foreman in front of the net, the junior put it home and the Lions were in front.
After APA thought it scored — Derek Dailey’s free kick appeared to go in, but it landed in the outer netting — the Jets did knot it up in the 70th minute.
The Jets countered a shot by Josh Cabello that Wilson saved, with Luis Rodriguez finding a wide-open Alex Bernard in front and Bernard beating Lions keeper Tyler Houk.
Foreman was awarded a penalty in the 76th minute after being tripped inside the 18-yard box, but his attempt sailed high.
“Cole played so well,” Callahan said. “He worked hard, and he put us in so many chances today. He showed great composure and leadership.”
Neither team could score in the extra periods that are required in intra-conference games, hence the shootout.
LC went up 2-0 after three rounds of PKs, with Foreman scoring in the first round and Cabello in the third. Houk, meanwhile, stopped the first two APA shots and the third Jet try hit the crossbar.
Hugo Gomez got APA’s goal in Round 4, but Vazquez’s shot in Round 5 was high, and the Lions prevailed.
“We rotated more than we usually do, and we had more players play more quality minutes than we usually do,” Callahan said. “I’m proud of that second team playing well, and that helped us last.”
APA coach Nicholas Karr also said the weather was a factor. He said several of his players took part in the city cross country meet at Davis Park before the game.
“Every player was tired today, and it was hot and several ran cross country before, and they still put it out on the field,” he said. “If you’re going to lose, that’s how you want it to be.”
LC hosts Wapahani on Friday, and APA is at Greenwood Christian next Tuesday.