The Oakville Tigers, after scoring a 4-3 win over Pattonville in their season opener on Monday, visited the Parkway West Longhorns Tuesday. A much tighter affair, it was the 30th minute when Sr. Colin Moran slipped one past the Longhorn’s GK from the left side of the box. It came from a play he started in the center circle, aided by the Tiger’s very talented sophomore midfielder Samed Ganibegovic who received Moran’s pass and went to goal, holding it until the overlapping run by Moran put him into the attack. We discuss it in the video below.
Parkway West came out strong to start the match but the goal was the culmination of the Tigers effort to slowly control the center of the field. The Longhorns are coming off their first District title since 2008 but graduated a very large class. Both the boys and the girls squads have been playing a high quality passing game the past couple of years and that culture showed at times but more games and familiarity with roles is going to be required.
Despite that, what did show was the same never say die quality that has also exhibited itself in recent years. The result was a game-tying goal with 8 seconds remaining on the clock scored by junior defender Collin Basler. Basler is the outside right back and a captain and he led by example last night, getting on the end of a cross into the box at the far post and one-timing it past an on-rushing defender and the goalkeeper.
Current tactical trends require that outside defenders play an active role in the attack and Collin offered the best possible example. Paired on the right side with his younger brother Conner, a sophomore midfielder, the communication will only get better.
The cross came from the lone freshman on the roster for Parkway West, Jack Galkowski, who served it from near the left touchline as the team pushed forward in the final moments. Other players of note are sr. Tucker Watts at forward, a quick and skilled forward that can break down defenses 1-v-1, sophomore Charlie Hummel in the central midfield and junior Spencer Reeves at defensive mid. GK Harlan Wyatt earned plaudits from Oakville Coach Dave Robben during a sideline discussion in the first half and junior captain Tommy Stimac worked hard at marshalling the defense from sweeper.
The Longhorns may have earned their first win, following an 0-3 loss at Webster Groves to open the season Friday, but for some excellent goalkeeping by Joe Martinelli of Oakville. His PK save on Watts in the 36th (pictured above) denied what would have been a goal in the vast majority of cases and he also saved the follow up effort as he made himself large.
The Tigers were a fun team to watch. Seniors Ahmed Ganibegovic and Thomas Hutcheson are paired up top and their creative runs opened up play consistently, it’s easy to see how the squad was able to score four against Pattonville. Moran, the goal-scorer, is an engine of this team in every sense of the word and he went box-to-box. He can accomplish that with Neil Michalak’s reliable play at defensive midfield.
The team has a plethora of creative skills and sparks, with little let down as Robben and his assistant Kyle Forthaus went deep into the bench. A player to watch is the younger Ganibegovic however. He seems soft-spoken in the video interview but that’s just the same skill and patience he showed on the pitch, as he waits for the others on the field to make the runs he saw in his head minutes earlier.
The game was part of pool play in the Parkway West/Northwest Tournament, the final pool games are being played tonight at Parkway West.
6:00 pm – Parkway West vs Pattonville
8:00 pm – Lafayette v Seckman
Knock out games will be played Thursday and Friday, leading to the Title game Saturday.
[smugmug url=”http://soccerstl.smugmug.com/hack/feed.mg?Type=gallery&Data=43928283_XPP4P4&format=rss200″ title=”Parkway%20West%20hosts%20Oakville” description=”Click%20on%20any%20photo%20to%20go%20to%20full%20gallery” imagecount=”53″ start=”1″ num=”15″ thumbsize=”Th” link=”smugmug” captions=”true” sort=”true” window=”false” smugmug=”true” size=”M”]