GHS v.s BG By: Tim Martineau
7:00 October 21st, NedinZukanovic, Daniel King and John Greer all line up for the national anthem. All of the Greenwood soccer team nervous about this night. They wait silently, waiting for the game to start. Greenwood hoping for a victory tonight against their rivals, bowling green.
Nedin smiling because he is ready for this game others may not be. Daniel King was as nervous as an goalkeeper could be before a big game, wondering if he would be a hero tonight or would he disappoint his team? All he can do now is focus on the game and do his best. Hopefully he will not have to do it alone.
When the game finally started Greenwood takes it down the field but is stop by Bowling Green. And from then on it was a game of attack and defend and it seemed like no one could score. So many chances for each team, shot after shot after shot, and it was still a scoreless game. Each keeper blocking each chance or watching the ball miss wide. The whistle blows again and its halftime.
After a talk with Greenwood’s soccer coach Scott Gural the boys get in a group to get each other ready for the second and final half. They discuss how they need to keep up the defense but put a little more in their attack. They cheer “1 2 3 Gators” and step out on to the field, ready for their last chance to score and win this game.
The second half begins and just like the first half its more attack and defend. But Greenwood takes the ball and gets down field greenwood takes a shot but it bounces of and goes out. Greenwood corner kick we take it but its blocked and is pushed down field the opposite way.
As Bowling Green is about to attack Greenwood’s Tucker Sago takes the ball from Bowling Green’s Peter May and he goes down field where he heads in the box and passes it to NedinZukanovic. Nedin takes a shot it feels like it takes forever hanging in the air, but finally the ball found the back of the net. And the Greenwood fans and players went crazy as Bowling Green sat there in shock.
After the game I talked to Nedin about his goal and he said "First, Tucker passed it to me and it deflected off of a guy, then it just came to my feet and I just put it in," Zukanovic said. "I was very proud. I just wanted to play defense after that. I wasn't worried about anything else." Despite what Nedin said after Bowling Green started the ball from mid-field Greenwood immediately took the ball and went to try to get another goal in and try to secure their victory. But unfortunately the keeper stopped Greenwood from scoring.
After that Greenwood decided that they would only attack if the opportunity came around. All bowling green would do was set themselves on attack on our goal and only leave goalie to defend. Now they game had changed for bowling green it was just repetitive attack, attack, attack. All Greenwood was left to do is defend and clear.
There were tough moments for Greenwood, Daniel King but every time king went out to save it he always came out with the ball. Later when I talked to Will Conley "Yeah, it was crazy," Conley said. "They kept shooting. I wanna give Daniel a shout out. He doesn't play keeper the whole year. He stepped in after our senior keeper got hurt and he's the best I've ever seen for a keeper who's never played before."
But the Greenwood defense held and they would not give up. Bowling green was getting really desperate, while Greenwood just kept pushing back and clearing the ball. When the final whistle blew, many of Bowling Green’s 11 players in play dropped to the field, and keeled over in the pain of the moment. The crowd rushed, but Greenwood players like Tucker Sago and Kevin Belt stayed near their positions to try and console the inconsolable, like bowling green’s senior Peter May. When it was all said and done I spoke with Greenwood coach Scott Gural and he said."These are always just such enjoyable games. They're so intense," GHS coach Scott Gural said. "They absolutely bring out the best of us and I hope we bring out the best in them. You can see from the respect between the players before and after the game, they're all encouraging each other, both sides across the field. To me it's a testimony to the quality of high school sports, that two quality programs can battle like this tooth and nail, but still respect each other at the end of the day."