IMG_0145

Altamont’s Braden Grunloh battles for possession with a Hillsboro defender during a soccer match in a Class 1A regional semifinal Tuesday, October 12, 2021.

Forty minutes wasn't going to decide the victor between Hillsboro and Altamont on Tuesday.

It took 52 minutes for the second goal to squeak past either team's goalkeeper, with Indians junior Connor Klitzing being the one to give it up in Altamont's 2-1 loss in the Class 1A regional semifinals.

After a gritty first 10 minutes of overtime saw the match end in a stalemate, Hillsboro wasted little time to net the decisive second goal.

Two minutes into the second overtime, sophomore midfielder Logan Murray snuck the ball right past Klitzing off of a throw-in that sent the Hilltoppers' fans in attendance into a frenzy.

What Indians head coach Jeff Walton was most worried about with his team happened.

"We were getting tired, and it showed when we weren't passing the ball as well anymore," Walton said. "We weren't putting the ball in people's feet. The distance from our passes got father and father from the intended player. They kept wanting to get corners because they're great at winning the ball in the air."

Hillsboro struck at the right moment, even though head coach Jason Burke knew how the match would end.

"I told them in the huddle after regulation and at half of overtime that it was going to come down to a 'fluky' goal," Burke said. "I just had a weird feeling. It was either going to be a header, redirect from a throw-in, corner, or something, but it was all about being opportunistic."

Despite the loss, Walton isn't taking anything away from how well his team fought.

Altamont entered as the No. 6 seed and proved that they belonged amongst the top teams, going toe-to-toe with the third-seeded Hilltoppers.

"We got after it," Walton said. "We dug down and played with a lot of heart, a lot of pride. Hillsboro's a good team. They pressed us, and we came right back at them. We were giving ourselves looks, giving ourselves chances."

Hillsboro returns to the pitch Friday, at 4 p.m., against No. 2 seed Newton for the Class 1A regional championship.

Meanwhile, the Indians look toward the future. Altamont graduates six seniors off the roster, most notably Noah Klimpel — who was a senior captain.

"He's going to be missed up-top," said Walton of Klimpel. "He scored the majority of our goals. He plays in the midfield; he plays as a forward. The kid was everywhere tonight. He's playing his butt off, and he's an inspiration to the rest of them. Hard-nosed, hard-working kid."

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 217-347-7151 ext. 124 or alex.wallner@effinghamdailynews.com.

Trending Video