LANCASTER — Ties are becoming all too familiar for the Lancaster boys soccer team.
After two early Lancaster goals, Reynoldsburg rallied to tie the Golden Gales 2-2 Tuesday in an Ohio Capital Conference-Ohio Division match. The Gales drew the Raiders for the third time in their past four meetings and tied for the fourth time in 10 games this season.
“Some of the draws we felt we should have won,” Gales coach Kent Conklin said. “Some of the draws — (against Pickerington Central on Aug. 28) — we were lucky to get a draw there. This one we had our chances, but we made a lot of mistakes defensively.”
The match started with a spark for the Gales (4-2-4, 1-1-2). Patrick Sabol scored on a header from a long free kick only 28 seconds into the game. Less than six minutes later, Quinn Galecki scored — also on a header — to give the Gales a seemingly comfortable 2-0 lead.
But the Raiders took control after that and had various chances for the rest of the half. After three near misses, Reynoldsburg got on the board with 15 minutes to play in the first half, adding the equalizing goal six minutes after halftime.
“I think they adjusted to us,” Conklin said. We got our goals off set pieces, and we weren’t able to get a third goal.”
Conklin said two-goal leads tends to be dangerous because the winning team relaxes. As the Gales couldn’t push their lead to three, the Raiders kept applying pressure and eventually evened the game.
Gales goalkeeper Andrew Koksal made two saves in the closing minutes to keep the match tied. With just less than four minutes to play, he deflected a shot from point-blank range before an offsides call gave the ball back to the Gales. Koksal made another stop from close range with 25 seconds to go.
“He’s done a good job for us all year,” Conklin said of Koksal. “He’s a three-year starter back there. We trust him a lot.”
The Gales have tied almost half of their games this season. Although that’s not always a desirable result, Conklin said, the Gales still received a point in the OCC-Ohio standings and have been defeated in the conference only once. With only three league games remaining, however, winning will become more vital as the Gales hope to ascend in the rankings.