Austin Webb’s penalty kick with 14:43 left in the match was enough to give the Harrison Raiders a 1-0 victory over backyard rival West Lafayette at the Salisbury Athletic Complex Thursday night in a nonconference battle.
The game was delayed for 1½ hours because of a lightning threat, but Harrison (7-3-1) and West Lafayette (2-7-1) slugged it out to a scoreless, but entertaining, tie before Webb was fouled inside the penalty box. His shot found the lower left corner of the net against West Lafayette goal Logan Sotelo.
“I was confident about it, because if you’re not confident, it won’t go in,” Webb said about the kick. “This was a good win for us. We have some big games against some Indy schools, so this is getting us to play better together. It’s really helpful.”
The penalty kick was a bit of redemption for Webb, who had nearly put Harrison up at the 33:20 mark. With Harrison on the attack, Nestor Sededji drove a hard-hit ball off the West Lafayette crossbar from about 20 yards out.
The ball bounced back into the field of play in front of Webb, who was practically staring Sotelo in the face. That time, Sotelo got his hand on Webb’s header and covered up, denying the Raiders the goal.
“I was upset because I knew we really needed a goal,” Webb said. “I slipped in the box and went for a header and didn’t hit it the way I wanted to. So when I got the PK, I was very excited. It was satisfying.”
It was a tough way to lose for the Red Devils, who had repelled repeated Raider attempts to get on the scoreboard. West Lafayette coach Andrew Kiernan said he can see lots of improvement in the Red Devils, even though it didn’t show up on the scoreboard last night.
“We didn’t plan to play defense as much as we did,” Kiernan said. “Any time you’ve got a local rivalry like this, it’s going to be a battle out there. They know each other extremely well.
“I thought Lev Zemlyanov had a great game for us in the middle and we had other guys who stepped up as well. It just didn’t turn our way tonight.”
Both teams had good shots at scoring goals in the first half. Harrison goalie Zach Beeler stretched out to stop a Lowell Knight shot at the 17:40 mark of the opening half while Sotelo turned back a strong Harrison attempt with 9:20 left before halftime.
It was Harrison’s second shutout within a week. The Raiders handed Frankfort its first loss last Saturday with a 1-0 victory.
“I’m really pleased with our defensive effort,” Harrison coach Bryan Clouse said. “Halid Apoudjak has really solidified our defense and Jeremy Dewell did a terrific job tonight with his defensive responsibilities. That defensive effort really transitions well to the offensive end for us.”