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  • Val T.

Jellison notches another hat trick, but North White beats Caston in final minute of OT


Sports Editor, RTC

ARGOS — Rowan Jellison notched his second hat trick in as many sectional games, but the Caston boys soccer team fell to No. 17 North White 4-3 on a goal with 50 seconds left in overtime in a Class 1A, Sectional 37 semifinal at Argos’ Eugene Snyder Field Wednesday.

Kobie Sparks also had three goals for No. 17 North White, who improved to 9-8-1.

Sparks scored the game-winner in the 94th minute when he took a cross from Andie Menjivar along the right goal line and one-touched the game-winner into an empty net.

“I think what happened there is maybe we broke down a little bit, lack of focus or we just missed an assignment there on the wing,” Caston coach Narciso Sanchez said. “And he was able to get to the corner and cross that in, and number 18 (Sparks) came in and cleaned it up. In that situation, we need to do a good job of seeing the ball and any player in our peripheral (vision) coming in from the back side on that blind side run. And they were there, and kudos to them, and they were able to get that win.”

Menjivar scored the other North White goal.

Sparks and Menjivar have combined to score 45 of North White’s 62 goals for the season.

Jellison scored first with 34:25 left in the first half when Jan Aguilar Mendez lofted a high pass over the top of the defense that Jellison ran down. He then deflected a shot off North White goalkeeper Samuel Montes that rolled into the net.

Sparks took a long through ball and flicked a shot over the head of Caston keeper Brock Hook and into the back of the net to tie the game.

Menjivar scored on a counterattack with 12:15 left in the half to give North White a 2-1 lead thanks to a Sparks steal at midfield and dish ahead to Menjivar rushing in from the left.

It stayed that way until 20:21 left in regulation when Jellison fired a bullet from 25 yards as he was falling that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the goal line.

But North White got another counterattacking goal with 15:18 left to take a 3-2 lead when goalkeeper Samuel Montes launched a throw that would make its way to Menjivar at midfield. He would dribble and slip a pass to Sparks for the goal that gave North White a 3-2 lead.

A North White hand ball in the box gave Caston an opportunity for a penalty kick with 13:41 left, and Jellison converted to equalize the game yet again, filling the net down the middle as Montes dove to his left.

Sanchez paid tribute to Jellison afterwards. He scored five goals in an 8-4 regular season win over North White on Sept. 6.

“As far as passion goes, he is probably as passionate as any player that I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some good ones,” Sanchez said. “I think most of the kids that suit up for Caston and play for this program that I am blessed enough and lucky enough to coach will run through almost anything for me, and especially when it gets to sectional games, they play with their hearts, they play with their souls, and they play for that thing that’s on the front of their jerseys.”

Caston only had one more shot on goal after Jellison’s penalty kick.

So did North White, but their shot wound up in the back of the net.

“As soon as that extra time started, we went into a defensive mindset. … I think they got a little too defensive-minded,” Sanchez said.

North White will play Argos in the sectional final at 7 p.m. Saturday. Argos eliminated Winamac 7-0 in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

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