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Intramural soccer: P.P. headed to championship

BY TOMMY REINKING | MARCH 22, 2012 6:30 AM

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The first 40 minutes of regulation weren't enough. Neither was the five-minute overtime period. It took the ultimate overtime — a penalty shootout — to decide a winner between the P.P. and the Sons of Thunder.

The P.P. emerged victorious in a 4-2 shootout in the men's intramural soccer semifinals on Wednesday night at the Bubble.

It appeared all game long that either team could score a goal any second — but neither did. The teams combined for 44 shots, but not one touched the back of the net. The goalies had 18 total saves in the match, 13 by Sons of Thunder keeper Cole Geisel.

"He's a good goalie," teammate Brett DeHoogh said. "He played in college, so that was pretty helpful. We were just happy to stick with it and have a close match."

Sons of Thunder had to play the game with only one substitute — one of their players couldn't play because of a broken hand. The fatigue showed as the game went on; the team didn't take a single shot in overtime. Sons of Thunder didn't get many opportunities late in the game thanks to constant full-pitch pressure from the P.P. defense.

"We stayed pretty composed throughout the game," the P.P.'s David Carrasco said. "We kept possession pretty well. We had a lot of opportunities from a lot of movement off the ball. It was opening up a lot of space around the goal."

Losing so close to the championship seems to be a recurring nightmare for the Sons of Thunder, which lost in the semifinals of last year's tournament as well.

The P.P. will be making its first-ever trip to the championship game, and Carrasco said he and his teammates are very optimistic that they can finish the season undefeated. He said the team is going to bring its relentless pressure to the final match of the season.

"We're going to try to carry over the aggressiveness," the recreation sports management major said. "We're going to maintain our composure and keep the game up-tempo and keep pressure on the ball. We're going to set the pace and make the team play with us."

A shootout is a rare occurrence in soccer games, especially in this year's intramural season.

Recreational Services staffer Lucas Greta said this game was the first in all of the regular season and playoffs to go into a shootout. P.P. goalie Andy Krulik — who recorded a shutout with 7 saves — had only been in one shootout before today.

"That was the first shootout I've been in in 10 years," he said. "I just don't think about it. I just step up there and I make the save."

The next step for the P.P. is the championship game on March 26. The squad has largely been productive on offense this season — it outscored opponents 24-13, including a 10-9 win in the season-opener — so players aren't anticipating another scoreless game.

"We keep fresh legs on the field and fall back on defense," Carrasco said. "We lacked a little bit on defense in the second half today, but we'll continue to get a lot of chances on offense."


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