Fresh off of the first district title in school history, the Battle Creek Central Bearcats were looking to extend their season to remember in the regionals.
However, BCC’s season came to an end in a hard-fought loss in the regional semifinals.
Milan defeated BCC, 1-0, in a shootout in this Division 2 regional boys’ soccer action in Jackson on Tuesday.
Milan was successful on all five of its attempts in the shootout, with the Bearcats making just four of their shots.
“The season has been amazing – the most fun I’ve ever had, and the best group of guys I’ve ever had,” said Battle Creek Central head coach Brad Yoder. “I just feel terrible for the seniors that it had to end that way.”
Battle Creek Central controlled the ball the majority of the game and seemed to have a few great chances at scoring, but they just couldn’t get the ball in the net.
“I thought we were the better team tonight,” said Yoder. “We had quite a few games this year that went like this. We talked about those bad bounces and not leaving it up to luck, and unfortunately in the end we didn’t do that.”
After 100 minutes of play, consisting of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, neither team had scored, and so the game had to be decided by a shootout, where the Big Red bested the Bearcats, 5-4.
“I really was proud of the way the guys played,” said Yoder. “We had a lot of intensity, especially in those two overtimes. I think we had more shots and more chances in the two overtimes than we did in the first half of the game.”
The Big Reds’ scorers in the shootout were Kian Evans, Peter McCrae Hokenson, Kevin Kollar, Connor Messina and Alex Maranville.
For the Bearcats, it was Francisco Carillo, Habeeb Salimon, Luis Hernandez and Ismael Bautista-Trejo converting on their shootout attempts.
Battle Creek Central finished its season with an overall record of 11-8.
Coach Yoder commented on how he thinks his team will respond next season: “It’s something to look forward to for next year. The younger guys have seen success now and they know what it takes and I think that it can be replicated.”