OLNEY — Teutopolis turned in its best defensive effort of the year, at the most crucial time in the Olney Regional final against the hosting Tigers Saturday.The crucial status wasn’t all because of the magnitude of the game; it was also because the Wooden Shoes’ goalie, Seth Belford, had a dislocated shoulder. The effort wasn’t enough, as Olney squeaked by with a 1-0 win and advanced to sectionals, but Teutopolis coach Dustin Jansen had nothing but praise for his defensive line of Rachel Westendorf, Richard Wendt, Alex Kowalski, Jacob Mette and Matt Beckman.“We had about half a keeper out there. You talk about stepping it up when it counts,” Jansen said. “They partially knew his position, but I told Seth that no one was allowed to know how bad that arm hurt.“Defense, by far their best game this year. They did not play varsity but five minutes last year. “It was a stark contrast from the teams’ matchup earlier this month, where the Tigers routed the Wooden Shoes 5-0. The game was contested mostly in the midfield, with neither team racking up a multitude of offensive chances as the defenses held firm and the wind howled up and down the field at Olney Central College all afternoon. Things went back-and-forth, with Olney holding a slight edge in possession, until a throw-in changed things. Olney had a throw-in near the goal, and the ball found its way right to Chance Madden, who headed the ball up and over Belford from point-blank range with about 12:30 left in the first half. That would mostly do it, as Belford had to make precious few saves, but coming up with a point-blank save in the game’s waning minutes. “Our keeper Seth, you find another coach that doesn’t know him and try to convince him that’s he a two-year player out there, (you couldn’t),” Jansen said.Teutopolis got more aggressive near the end of the game, getting the ball close to the net in the final 10 minutes, but couldn’t put it in the back of the net with the win heading toward the Olney goalkeeper.“We switched some stuff up there at the end,” Jansen said. “Olney didn’t get any shots going with the wind either. It’s got so much spin on it.”Belford had to make two saves, while Teutopolis put four shots on goal in the game. The loss ends the Teutopolis season, falling one win short of a regional crown and advancing the furthest of the area’s Class 1A teams. Jansen continued to beam about how far the Shoes came since the middle of August. “This team deserved to win, they left it out all on the field,” he said. “We lost a lot of kids from last year, before this year, I had no clue how we were going to make this work. I wasn’t even thinking about regionals.”Olney advances to the Raymond Lincolnwood Sectional, where the Tigers will face Litchfield.
Teutopolis 0 0 0Olney 1 0 1