Boys Soccer: Lafayette and Grafton Play to 1-1 Draw in Soggy Conditions

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Robin Ahlers
Grafton's Robin Ahlers sprints down the left side of the field. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

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After playing 90 minutes of back-and-forth soccer in the pouring rain Tuesday, neither Lafayette nor Grafton could put the other away during a 1-1 draw in double overtime.

The draw marks the fifth consecutive year Grafton and Lafayette have tied during the regular season.

"I hate ties," Lafayette Coach Brian Sorrell joked after the game. "Ties are miserable. I despise them. I like winners and losers."

Despite the game ending in a draw, both teams had scoring opportunities.

With 33 minutes left in the first half, a Grafton shot deflected off a Lafayette defender, causing Rams goalkeeper David Domalski to make a diving save to his left that pushed the ball just wide of the net.

Grafton almost broke through again with 18:55 left in the first half. Dylan Lorio-MacNamara ripped a shot from within the box, which was saved by Domalski.

The ball ricocheted off Domalski and fell at the foot of a Reed King with a wide-open net. King's putback attempt sailed wide right of the net, drawing a groan from the Grafton supporters in attendance.

Lafayette followed up with a near scoring chance of its own with less than 10 seconds left to play in the first half.

Rams sophomore Gavin Arsenault collected the ball off a clearance by Domalski and jostled with a Grafton defender just beyond midfield.

Grafton goalkeeper Jay Fox came well out of the box in an attempt to clear the ball, but misjudged the distance between himself and the ball, allowing Arsenault to skirt by while maintaining possession.

Arsenault mishit the ball, but his shot was still on target to enter the wide-open net. Grafton defender Patrick Corts chased down the ball and stopped it from crossing the plane of the goal as time expired.

Though the game was scoreless at halftime, Grafton Coach Johnny Yu was unhappy with his team's mental preparation, attributing some of the struggles to coming back from spring break.

"It's tough every year," Yu said of getting his team back into the right mindset after spring break. "I think four or five kids weren't mentally ready to play the game."

Less than eight minutes into the second half, Lafayette's Jason Eckenrode put the Rams up 1-0 after Matthew Beatty put a shot on net that rebounded off Fox. Eckenrode played the ball out of midair and volleyed it into the right side of the net, putting Lafayette up 1-0.

The Rams seemed poised to hang on to their narrow lead, turning away multiple Grafton scoring chances and shutting down potential attacks.

But with 3:59 left in regulation, a Grafton corner kick fell to the feet of Andy King, who slotted the ball into the lower-right corner of the net past Domalski.

For Sorrell, giving up the late game-tying goal was a tough pill to swallow.

"Sometimes when you're up, trying to hold onto a lead is harder than trying to score," he said. "The ball fell right at our feet on the corner and they got to it first. All we had to do was get a foot on it and clear it out."

After regulation ended with both teams tied at one goal apiece, scoring chances became scarce. Between the two overtime periods, both teams struggled to find open looks at the net.

Watching their teams battle for 90 minutes pleased Yu and Sorrell, as both coaches expressed their happiness with their teams performances in less-than-favorable weather conditions.

Lafayette will continue its season at 7 p.m. Thursday when the Rams host Tabb. Grafton will take on New Kent at 7 p.m. Friday at Bailey Field.

Lafayette 1, Grafton 1

Goals: Lafayette (Jason Eckenrode), Grafton (Andy King)
Assists: Lafayette (Matthew Beatty)

Boys Soccer: Lafayette and Grafton Play to 1-1 Draw in Soggy Conditions