Eisenhower keeper Ryder Claborn made a pair of outstanding blocks on penalty kicks to help the Eagles hold off a gallant bid by MacArthur in a pulsating city soccer match Tuesday at Cameron Stadium.
The mere fact that the Eagles were able to force penalty kicks was amazing since they played two down in the final seven minutes because of red cards. Mac had a late corner with 25 seconds left but Claborn batted that away to set up the battle of penalty kicks after two 10-minute overtimes.
Mac’s talented Pasqual Arredondo was true on his first kick and Ike’s Aaron Bear followed suit to make it 1-1 at that point.
But then Claborn got a great block on Mac’s second attempt, getting his long legs outstretched and blocking it.
Then the tide turned Ike’s way when Aldo Hernandez was on target to push the Ike lead to 2-1.
Mac’s next attempt was high and over the crossbar but the next Ike player was high as well, leaving hope for the Highlanders.
But once again Claborn showed why he’s one of the top keepers in the state, reading the shot and smothering it away from the net,
That gave Ike’s 18 a chance to close it out and his shot was perfect and the Eagles mobbed him after the 2-2, 3-1 victory.
The boys match started rather slow with Ike jumping out early but MacArthur rallied twice to eventually knot the score at 2-2 to force the overtime before a good crowd at Cameron Stadium.
While Ike led early, the Eagles went into the overtime playing down two players after the competition got chippy and red and yellow cards were flying in the second half.
Mac struggled early as Ike keeper Ryder Claborn was tough and when Hernandez scored on a penalty kick at the 15:30 mark of the second half it seemed like the Eagles were on their way to the city championship as well as a nice district win.
Just seconds later, though, Mac’s Arredondo beat Claborn into the left corner to get the large Mac contingent fired up.
The two cross-town rivals battled back and forth in the midfield until Ike had a player draw a red card with 11:00 remaining and that’s when Mac got its first big advantage.
And just four minutes later it was Arredondo who made a couple of great moves and weaved into the box to beat Claborn again at the 7:11 mark to knot the score.
The teams kept battling until it got tense again when Ike drew another red card and was forced to start playing two down, which continued when the two teams entered the overtime period.
There was plenty of hype about Tuesday’s boys city soccer championship match but the MacArthur girls put on their own dandy show in the first game of the city doubleheader, getting a goal in sudden death to take a 4-3 victory.
It appeared that the girls teams were going to battle into a tie after the 10-minute overtime but Mac’s Jazmine Gallichan got free and drilled a rocket to the left side and past the Ike keeper to start the celebration.
“I’m so proud of this bunch,” an excited Mac coach Tiffany Hoover said. “Magalah Burkhart had a goal and really played well and Zoe Martin did a great job the entire match giving us some good looks.”