Illinois Tech suffered a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to Waldorf College in the Scarlet Hawks Invite at Stuart Field on Monday night. The two teams were locked at 2-all after regulation time and two overtime periods were not enough for either side to find a winner. The visiting Waldorf side was clinical from the spot, winning the shootout 4-3 and taking out the Scarlet Hawk Invite tournament. The game is recorded as a draw for both teams. Illinois Tech is now 1-0-2 on the season.
It was a scrappy affair from the outset with neither team able to get a good rhythm flowing in the game.
In the 20th minute, Junior, Roman Zwarycz, picked up the ball on the left wing and made a terrific run to the byline before cutting it back across the face of goal. Nigerian import, Timi Akindele got a first time shot away from the edge of the six yard box but was denied by Waldorf keeper, Alejandro Olmos. However, Olmos could only manage to palm the ball into the path of IIT forward Tommy Gasienica, who made no mistake in slotting the ball from 3 yards to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Despite the advantage, the game remained a cagey affair with fouls being traded by both sides and neither team able to create any clear cut chances. However with less than two minutes remaining in the half, Waldorf were awarded a penalty after hawks center back, Nathan McMahon mistimed his challenge in the box. Waldorf’s Scott Hanson sent Tech keeper, Bart Grabowski the wrong way and leveled the scores at 1-all going into half time.
The home side started the second half sluggishly and was made to pay nearly immediately. Fullback Kwaku Amoah picked the ball up on the half way line and breezed through the middle of the park before unleashing an unstoppable shot from 25 yards to give the visiting side a 2-1 lead.
IIT struggled with ideas and creativity going forward and was relying heavily on set pieces to find an equalizer. Their prayers were answered in the 73rd minute when Brandon Ramirez’s corner was met by senior, Robert Rixer at the front post. His volley was saved by the Waldorf shot-stopper but Gasienica was again on hand to prod home the rebound and level the scores at 2-all.
With extra time looming, both sides were in search for the winner but with little success being found in the final third. Extra time produced lots of drama but no goals. Senior Hawks fullback, Rex Meier, was given his marching orders after a second bookable offense. Tommy Gasienica was nearly the hero of the night with a glorious chance in the 98th minute. The freshman was unmarked at the back post but sent his header into the turf before rocketing back up on to the crossbar.
Charles Hassel was then sent off for Waldorf, evening out the man advantage. Brandon Ramirez had the best chance in the second period of overtime to find a winner. The star of Saturday night found himself in behind the backline before taking his touch around the keeper. But he was unable to convert with a Waldorf defender recovering well to force the ball out for a corner.
The match ended 2-2 with penalties to decide the winner of the tournament. Robert Rixer and Samuel Smith failed to convert from 12 yards for the Scarlett Hawks and Bart Grabowski narrowly missed saving 2 attempts from Waldorf. Roman Zwarycz, Nathan McMahon and Brandon Ramirez all converted for IIT but it wasn’t enough as Waldorf took the title.
Despite the shootout loss, which was used to decide the tournament winner, the Hawks officially maintain an undefeated record of 1-0-2. Head Coach Marc Colwell will be looking for a much improved performance from his young brigade when they take on Trine University at home on Friday evening at 5pm.
Scarlet Hawks Invite All-Tournament Awards:
Champion Waldorf College
Runner-up Illinois Tech
Tournament MVP Alejandro Olmos, GK, Waldorf College
Offensive MVP Brandon Ramirez, M, Illinois Tech
Defensive MVP Alejandro Olmos, GK, Waldorf College
All-tournament team members:
1. Brandon Ramirez, M
2. Roman Zwarycz, M
3. Tommy Gasienica, F
1. Papa Otoo, F
2. Pedro Medieta, D
1. Brandon Busuttil, D
2. Tyler Jugon, F
1. Alejandro Olmos, Gk
2. Scott Hanson, F
3. Jorge Arenas, M
4. Kwaku Amoah, D