COLORADO SPRINGS — The first 15 minutes of Fairview’s eventual 2-1 loss to Pine Creek on Saturday would’ve served as a fine definition of the word “frustrating.”
Physical play and bickering with the officials put the Knights (3-4) down both in the score and a man on the field.
A ninth-minute goal for the Eagles (3-3-1) by midfielder Aaron Haefner put them up 1-0, fueling the frustration Fairview showed early in the contest. It was shortly after the goal that midfielder Raul Magno was given a red card for disrespect of the officials, putting Fairview down a man for the rest of the game against a Pine Creek club ranked third in Class 5A by CHSAANow.com.
“We’ve been playing well and not getting good results so (frustration) would not be surprising,” Knights coach Stan Jozwiak said. “There are emotional points in a game, emotional turns and we knew we had to take that set back and turn it into something to rally around.”
And that they did.
The Knights showed enough grit and enough fight to get through the rest of the half unscathed. Trailing 1-0 at halftime, a re-energized Fairview team took the field and spent the majority of the second half pressuring the Eagles.
“We talked at halftime and we talked about rallying and playing at that level of adversity,” Jozwiak said. “We needed to meet the challenge that was facing us in that regard.”
The increased pressure led to more scoring chances for the Knights, but with that man down, they still had trouble converting those chances into goals. It wasn’t until the 57th of the game that the Knights found the break they so desperately needed.
Striker Casey Munsch was fouled in the box, giving the Knights a penalty kick and a prime opportunity to tie the game. The shot went to Wyatt Dessell, who put it past Eagles keeper Frankie Hernandez, tying the game at one goal apiece.
“I know I can makes those because I’ve made a few before and I knew that my team needed me,” Dessell said. “Casey did a good job of getting for us and we just needed some momentum to shift for us.”
The Knights took their newfound momentum and used it to consistently attack the Eagles’ zone. The physical play continued throughout the remainder of the second half and although the Knights were on the attack more often, neither team was able to take the lead before the end of regulation.
Just before the final whistle, it seemed as though Fairview was given an overtime gift.
Pine Creek midfielder Sam Stark was given his second yellow card of the contest, resulting in a red card to match the one Magno had received early in the game.
With overtime coming, the teams were evenly numbered for the first time since the opening minutes of the game.
But it was the Eagles who would emerge victorious in extra time. Knights keeper Alex Ray couldn’t hold on to a shot and the ball bounced back to midfielder Nick Bannister, who placed it for forward Yaya Cisse, who drilled it for the golden goal and a 2-1 win for Pine Creek.
“I got the ball, but I couldn’t hold on to it,” Ray said. “We weren’t really expecting too much from this game, we’re not really happy with the result but I think we can come away with our heads held high.”
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Pine Creek 2, Fairview 1
At Pine Creek HS
Fairview 0 1 0 — 1
Pine Creek 1 0 1 — 2
Goals (assists) — Pine Creek: Aaron Haefner (Dylan Greco), 9th minute; Fairview: Wyatt Dessell (PK), 57th minute; Pine Creek: Yaya Cisse (Nick Bannister), 89th minute.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Fairview: Alex Ray (89-2-6); Pine Creek: Frankie Hernandez (89-1-4).