Wednesday night’s Substate Semifinal between the Pella and Knoxville boys soccer teams seemed like deja vu all over again, as the Panthers eliminated the Little Dutch 2-1 in a shootout. In last season’s Substate Finals, the two teams had been scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods before Knoxville claimed the win in a shootout as well.
The games had been moved to Pella High School to be played on the field turf because of the wind and rain in the forecast. With the elements leveling the playing field, Knoxville and Pella were scoreless through the first half as the Panthers out-hustled the Little Dutch for the first 40 minutes.
Pella picked up the pace in the second half, scoring 12 minutes into the period, then clamping down on the Knoxville offense. However, with 9 minutes remaining in the contest, the Panthers tied the game at 1-1 on a header from a corner kick. In overtime, neither team got a good look at the goal, as the game stayed tied at 1-1 through two sudden-death overtimes.
That brought on a dramatic shoot-out, which was ultimately decided by the first kick. Pella missed its first shot, while Knoxville was successful. After that, both teams made all of the rest of their attempts and the Panthers came away with the victory.
The Knoxville boys soccer team advances to the Substate Final on Saturday in Pella where they will face Norwalk. The Warriors roughed up Centerville 5-1 Wednesday night. Pella’s season comes to a disappointing end with an overall record of 13-5.