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South, Service boys battle to 1-1 draw

Mike Nesper
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
East goalie Roman Kropidlowski dives toward the ball during a goal scored by West's Adan Acuna during the Eagles 5-3 victory over the Thunderbirds at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
East goalie Roman Kropidlowski dives toward the ball during a goal scored by West's Adan Acuna during the Eagles 5-3 victory over the Thunderbirds at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth
West Anchorage defeated East Anchorage 5-3 during a boys soccer game at East High on Thursday, May 8, 2014.
Bill Roth

Thursday's 1-1 tie between Service and South evoked contrasting reactions from the Cook Inlet Conference boys soccer teams.

Service saw its second draw this season against a Wolverines team that has been dominant the past decade as confirmation of its ability, while South was disappointed about letting a few wins slip away this season.

South owned the first half, scoring just six minutes into the match when a Wesley Chien floater got past Service keeper Jacob Andrews.

The early goal rattled Service, said Johnny Yoon, who tied the match on a penalty kick about 14 minutes into the second half.

"That goal shook us up," he said.

Possession and shots on goal favored South through the first 40 minutes. Andrews made six first-half saves, including getting both hands on Lucas Seymour's free kick that curled past a four-man wall and was labeled for the top left corner.

"I try to come up with big saves when called upon," Andrews said.

South's quick tally didn't faze the junior goalkeeper thanks to a ritual Andrews employs that aids in erasing memory of opposing team's goals.

"I slap the post and get it out of my head," he said.

In the second half, the Cougars came out more motivated, which has been their modus operandi this year.

"All season we've been a second half team," Andrews said.

Crisp touches and playing as a unit led to Service's best 40 minutes of soccer all season, he said.

Service freshman Azzam Azzam was fouled in South's box, which set up Yoon's penalty kick. The junior forward blasted a low shot to the bottom right corner like it was automatic.

"I don't think about it," Yoon said. "I just put it in the net."

Service had a prime opportunity in the match's waning minutes when Yoon sent a low shot off a corner kick to Fischer Rogers, who spun around and put the ball just wide of the goal.

A strong defensive effort helped the Wolverines salvage a tie, South captain Luke Twenhafel said.

"Our defense really stepped up and kept us in the game in the second half," he said.

So did Service's.

"They just had us marked in the back," South senior Taylor Zietlow said, which limited the Wolverines' scoring chances.

Momentum wasn't the only thing that swung back and forth. Plenty of verbal exchanges were made between South and Service, which intensified as the match went on.

"It was getting a little feisty," Andrews said.

That's typical when the Wolverines and Cougars meet, he said, and makes for an enjoyable rivalry.

After its 2-2 match with Service on March 24, another draw was disappointing for South, Zietlow said.

"A tie's a tie. It's not good," he said. "We need to win."

For the Cougars, two ties against South -- the defending state champions who have played for a state title seven times since 2005 -- shows Service is one of the best in the conference, Yoon said.

"We know we're one of the stronger teams," he said. "Today was the day we finally proved (it)."

Reach Mike Nesper at 257-4335 or mnesper@adn.com.

 


By MIKE NESPER
mnesper@adn.com