TOWANDA—The Orioles played with fury in the final minutes of regulation against Circle Thursday night. The Thunderbirds held them off.
Augusta again came close to putting one in the net in overtime, and again in double overtime, but Circle again played enough defense to end the game in a scoreless tie.
It wasn’t exactly how Augusta’s boys soccer team wanted to end the regular season, especially after dominating Circle 5-0 the first time around.
Thursday’s windy conditions didn’t help much. When going against the wind, both teams would have passes that went through the air suddenly slow down. Even playing with the wind, at least in the early part of the game, had its difficulties as passes would sail too far to catch up.
Circle put pressure on Augusta at times during the second half. But with about 15 minutes left, the Orioles started playing with urgency and controlled the rest of the game. The Orioles tried getting it to Corbin Murray as often as possible. He was able to weave his way through traffic and set up his own shots or his teammates.
Mason Hiser made the best pass of the night toward the end of regulation when he lobbed it from the left sideline back across the middle the field near the goalie box. Both Kyler Steinkamp and Michael Albright got behind the defense onside and had a chance at an easy shot, but neither one made the right play on the ball. Later in the OT periods, the Orioles had a couple of corner kicks, but they couldn’t get clean shots on goal right in front of the goalie.
Still, the Orioles' offense was the best it has been in a couple of game, which should give the team something to ride in the regional tournament.
Orioles travel to Berean Academy for Regionals opener
Augusta’s boys soccer team finished the regular season with a 5-9-2 record. The Orioles next will prepare for Class 4-1A Regional tournament.
Augusta will play at Berean Academy at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. The Orioles are seeded No. 8, and the Warriors (10-5) are seeded No. 5 in the South Central Region 2 bracket.
The Orioles hosted Berean Academy a few weeks ago and lost 2-0. Berean scored a goal two minutes into the game and added a PK goal in the final minutes of the game. The Warriors try to wear down their opponents by using a lot of substitutes throughout the game.
The winner will play on the road at McPherson, likely against the No. 2 Bullpups, who will play the winner of the Circle-Topeka Highland Park play-in game. Topeka Hayden is the top seed. Rose Hill (12-4) is No. 3.