Momentum-shifting save, strong second half lift Kiski Area boys soccer team to playoff win over Gateway

Saturday, October 23, 2021 | 7:02 PM

After a back-and-forth start to their Class 3A first-round playoff matchup with Gateway on Saturday, the Kiski Area boys soccer team got to playing how it wante and ran away with a 5-1 win on the strength of four second-half goals.

A goal by Anders Bordoy — off a feed from Aaron Witt — in the 27th minute gave Kiski Area a 1-0 lead. Gateway threatened to take back momentum shortly thereafter, however. Gators sophomore Keagan Kyper rocketed a shot toward goalkeeper Maddox Anderson, who leaped and got just enough of the ball to deflect it over the crossbar.

Kiski didn’t look back from that momentum-shifting play.

“When you’re in the playoffs it’s going to be a tough game,” Cavaliers coach Sean Arnold said. “I thought we came out flat to start, but once we got to halftime, we got our jitters out and started to play how we should’ve been playing the whole game. Sometimes (Maddox) doesn’t get a ton of action, so when he does, he has to be ready. That was a huge play.”

The chance for Kyper might have been the best of the day for the Gators, who closed their season at 10-9. Kiski Area, meanwhile, will play at Franklin Regional at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals.

The Panthers defeated 14th-seeded Trinity on Saturday.

“The way that high school sometimes goes, it’s momentum swings,” Gateway coach Bernie Stiles said. “I think that save really built them up. We’re young in a lot of aspects in certain areas, and maybe you feel like that’s the only chance you’re going to get.”

The Cavaliers scored the first three goals of the second half to pull away. Witt scored in the 51st minute from Bordoy to make it 2-0. Owen Zimmerman, who led Kiski Area in goals during the 18-game regular season, scored twice (61st and 70th minutes) to make it 4-0. Bordoy assisted on one of Zimmerman’s goals.

“Sometimes when a team plays flat, you need someone to take control of the game, and Anders (Bordoy) did that for us,” Arnold said.

Gateway’s lone goal came with just over six minutes left to play on a solid individual effort from sophomore striker Will Hansmann, who scored for the fourth time in 2021, to make it 4-1.

Bordoy added a tally with 1:15 remaining to bring the game to its final.

For Gateway, Dietrich Zeisloft, one of the team’s captains and an all-section player, as well as centre-back Cooper Hayes, an alternate captain and all-section player, will graduate. In total, Gateway will graduate five seniors after graduating 10 after the 2020 campaign.

The Gators, who have made back-to-back trips to the postseason, will return 11 of 15 rotational players, including nine of the 11 starters from Saturday’s lineup. Stiles said 2021 was the best season since he arrived to Gateway prior to 2017.

“A lot of the things we have to fix will come with a year of growth,” said Stiles. “This year was the best of the five that I’ve had here, not just because of the wins but because of the way the team came together. The growth, I think, is really going to come out next year.”

“We can’t start out flat. If you start out flat against Franklin Regional, it’ll be a different result (than today),” Arnold said. “Hopefully, we can be ready to play and maybe get the first goal. That’d be huge.”

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