Keystone Oaks boys soccer team has been on the precipice and searching for a big win all season long.
They finally came through with one, beating its Class 2A, Section 1 rivals South Park, 2-1, in a come-from-behind effort at Dormont Stadium on Monday night.
“It was a huge win for us,” Tyler Shultz said after the match. “We’ve been trying to find the right chemistry, the right formations. But recently it’s been coming together. Tonight, we finally got the product we’ve been waiting for. The boys really enjoyed the win.”
Despite coming into the match without a loss, South Park knew they’d have a tough contest. Earlier in the season on their home turf, South Park beat Keystone Oaks, 2-0.
On the other side, Keystone Oaks were looking to bounce back after a tough 2-1 overtime loss on Saturday to Elizabeth Forward that dropped them into third place in the section. To make matters worse, Keystone Oaks’ Rutger Randall (PSN’s WPIAL Boys Player of the Week in week 1), was dealing with an ankle injury heading into the match, and it was uncertain how much he would play after sitting out much of Saturday’s match.
The section leaders scored first as Dylan Weiss’ 14th minute goal gave them the early momentum.
Then Keystone Oaks caught a break, as a red card halfway through the first half forced South Park to have to play a man down. Still, through 40 minutes, it was an evenly played affair, even as Keystone Oaks were still struggling to solve South Park’s really well-organized defense which has only allowed three goals all season heading into this match.
The Golden Eagles finally broke through in the 60th minute, as Randall, playing on a bum ankle hit the equalizer.
“I thought we played well defensively even down a player,” Jon Cantwell, South Park’s Head Coach said. “But once they got the first goal, we lost our composure and they quickly got the second.”
Seven minutes after Randall’s goal, Keystone Oaks’ Rohan Shrestha had the game-winner, slotting his shot low and left.
After another 13 tense moments and back-and-forth action, the Golden Eagles held on for the big win.
“KO played with a lot of energy and took advantage of our mistakes,” Cantwell added. “It was a good result for them. They’ll represent our section well in the postseason.”
Both teams will be gearing up for the playoffs as there’s merely a week left in the regular season.
Keystone Oaks improves to 8-3, picking up a huge confidence booster as they head into the final week of the season with their eyes on making some noise in the WPIAL playoffs. South Park falls to 9-1 in section play, and 10-1 overall,
We have a lot more with Shultz in our PSN zoom postgame interview below.
ED THOMPSON PHOTO GALLERY – KEYSTONE OAKS VS SOUTH PARK (at Dormont Stadium – 10/12/2020)
POSTGAME INTERVIEW WITH TYLER SHULTZ (KEYSTONE OAKS HEAD COACH)