Postseason dreams still alive for Geibel boys
With its playoff hopes on the line, the Geibel boys soccer team certainly didn't play at a high level during the first 40 minutes of Monday's Section 4-A home game against Chartiers-Houston. However, a solid second half was enough to help the Gators overcome a lackluster start on their way to a critical 1-0 victory that kept their postseason dreams alive.
Bailey McIntyre's second-half goal provided the Gators (5-5-2, 4-5-1) with the necessary offense in a game with very few opportunities for either side.
“We played flat,” Geibel coach Mike Grant said. “I'm not taking anything away from their team. They are a good team, but their record doesn't indicate it, and I'm sure our guys looked at that.”
In the first half, neither team could muster many scoring opportunities, and the few chances that were generated were easily thwarted by Geibel goalkeeper Kyle Toth and Chartiers-Houston goalie Doug Dinardo.
In the second half, the Gators were able to step it up.
“We made some adjustments in the second half, and that allowed us to keep the pressure on,” Grant said.
Geibel's pressure paid immediate dividends. Just over a minute into the second half, McIntyre raced down the right side and was able to beat a defender before sending a low liner past Dinardo for the game's only goal.
“We were able to break Bailey free for that goal,” Grant said.
For McIntyre, the play was a blur.
“It just happened so fast,” McIntyre said, giving credit to James Ewing for assisting on the play. “I just took a quick shot. Obviously, the goal was a team effort.”
With the lead on their side, the Gators were able to shut down the Buccaneers (2-14, 2-9) the rest of the way. Chartiers-Houston has been shut out in each of its past three games.“They were beating us in the air and we couldn't control the ball on the ground,” Chartiers-Houston coach Dennis Farrer said, noting that he was missing two senior starters. “They outplayed us in the second half.”
For Geibel, the win kicks off a busy week. The Gators have three more games this week, including another big section game at home Tuesday against Beth-Center. Geibel sits in fifth place in the section and will likely have to win both of their remaining section games to have a shot at the playoffs.
“Right now, we have to win out,” Grant said. “That's the bottom line if we want to continue playing.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3534.