IMS tops Highland in overtime
RIVERSIDE — Senior Dillon Bender’s overtime goal helped No. 8 IMS overcome a determined Highland squad 3-2 on Thursday evening amid cold, rainy conditions.
Playing with determination and purpose on Senior Night, Highland (2-6) came out strong and quick. Going into the wind, the Huskies moved down the field to send a swirling shot on goal, which got past the IMS goalie to give Highland an early 1-0 lead.
IMS gathered itself and did a better job of adjusting to the field conditions and Highland’s aggressive style of play. With the first half coming to an end, IMS pushed the ball down the side of the field. Bender brought the ball back across the goal and sent a pass to senior Justin Boller, who redirected it into the goal. The two teams were tied 1-1 at halftime.
Rain began to join the winds as the second half began, making the ball wet and the field slick. The Huskies took advantage of the wind at their backs and scored a long goal to regain the lead.
Again, IMS responded as midfielders Nicholas Yoder, Spencer Schrock, Kirby Shetler and Enrique Sanchez, along with forwards Bender and Reggie Hostetler, put pressure on the Highland defense but struggled to take strong shots. After a run into the box, Sanchez was knocked to the ground, earning a penalty kick, which Bender knocked into the goal to even the score.
For the rest of the half both teams tried to maintain possession of the ball and put any shots possible on the goalies in hopes of a mishandled ball because of the poor weather conditions. IMS senior Joel Shetler came up big, recording seven saves. IMS put 14 shots on goal in the second half — compared to five for Highland — but the advantage in shots did not translate to the go-ahead goal.
The weather conditions continued to deteriorate as overtime began. Highland came out strong and created several shots, but the back line of Boller, Miller, Michael Hershberger and Jameson Lammer, along with Joel Shetler, kept Highland from scoring.
Finally, IMS pushed forward with a sustained offensive thrust. Yoder took a shot, which the Highland goalie failed to handle cleanly, and Bender picked up the deflection, sidestepped a defender and calmly booted the ball into the goal for the sudden victory.
IMS (10-3, 7-1 SEISC) will honor its eight seniors before Monday’s home match against Burlington-Notre Dame, which will start at 6 p.m.
The IMS junior varsity boys’ soccer team won 3-0 in a shortened contest after both teams agreed to shorten the halves to 15 minutes apiece. Freshman David Lemon scored less than a minute into the contest, and Kirby Shetler added two goals. Freshman Jorey Conrad preserved the shutout with a penalty kick save.