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  • Val T.

Wallace shines in goal, but Zebras fall to Maconaquah on late goal


Sports Editor, RTC

Parker Wallace

Bennett Isenburg scored in the 77th minute to lead the Maconaquah boys soccer team to a 1-0 win over Rochester at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex Monday.

Rabuor Tindi had Rochester’s only shot on goal.

Meanwhile, Parker Wallace stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced in goal for the Zebras. But Isenburg broke through for his eight goal of the season in the final minutes after two Rochester defenders collided with each other going for the ball.

Maconaquah improved to 9-2 overall and 3-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Rochester is 3-7, 1-5.

Rochester coach Eric Backus called Maconaquah a “phenomenal team.” Maconaquah will travel to Manchester on Monday in a matchup of the final two unbeatens in the TRC.

“The one was kind of a fluke where we didn’t clear it,” Backus said. “My two defenders ran into each other without talking. … (They) were both going towards the ball, and neither one of them cleared it, and they ran into each other, and the kid squirted through and took a wide-open shot on Parker. So unlucky break, but the great thing was they were both going for the ball hard, so it’s really hard to yell at them for something like that.”

Isenburg also had two goals against the Zebras last year in a 7-1 win on the turf at Bunker Hill, but this game was a nailbiter.

“I just wish we could get a lucky break once in awhile,” Backus said. “That’s all I got to say. I thought we played pretty phenomenal on the defensive end. Grant Bailey was all over the place, helping to get the through balls and clear out. Hopefully, if things go well on Saturday when we play Winamac in the first game, hopefully we can see these guys again in the championship at the Winamac tourney this Saturday.”

Wallace was in the line of fire, flinging himself at anything near the cage.

“I’m grateful we have Parker Wallace back there,” Backus said. “He made some amazing saves tonight.”

Backus said Maconaquah plays a “high press,” where it appears as though they are running six players at the defense. Backus said his players will have to work on turning and settling a ball and then sending a through ball as a way of countering.

“We’re getting there,” Backus said. “I like the way we’re playing. I love the intensity we’re playing. Some of it’s a little too physical for the way I like coaching, but I like the physicality that we bring. I was really hoping we could go into overtime and maybe into PKs with this team. They might be better than us, but that would have been a lot of fun.”

Rochester’s Adarius Ranstead was hobbled with an ankle injury and missed most of the game. Backus said he would have helped in the outside midfield area.

Randstad is Wallace’s backup at goalkeeper.

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