DELAWARE – The Delaware Hayes boys soccer team went back-and-forth all night, but couldn’t overcome four goals by Whetstone’s Chance Mpigirwa in a 4-3 loss in the first round of the Division I district tournament Tuesday night.
“He’s been amazing,” Whetstone coach Larry Howell said of Mpigirwa. “He’s got the potential to score any time he’s got the ball on his foot. He’s got good movement, he understands the game and he just works hard in practice and comes out here and puts it on the field every night.”
After Kyle Klumpp scored the go-ahead goal off a Dylan Ashworth free kick with 13:33 left, the Pacers seemed destined to move on to the next round.
Then, Brack Dillon was fouled in the box and Mpigirwa converted the ensuing penalty kick to tie the score 3-3 with 11:30 remaining.
“This has been the story of our season,” Hayes coach Robb Morgan said. “We play incredibly hard and we get a tough call and something doesn’t go our way. We have fought to the very end even though we’ve been down in significant ways. I couldn’t be more proud of them. I’m disappointed because these things sting.”
Mpigirwa came up with a failed Hayes clearing attempt less than a minute later and got behind the defense before touching it in for what turned out to be the game-winner.
“(Hayes is) a good team,” Howell said. “Last year they got us (3-0 in the first round of the tournament). This year – I knew coming in that it was probably a 50-50 game. If we kept our composure – we had a shot at them. We got the last shot in, so it was a good night.”
Mpigirwa scored twice earlier in the half to help 38th-seeded Whetstone (10-4-1) overcome a 1-0 deficit.
The first came after the Hayes defense stopped on a ball that appeared to have gone out of bounds on the left sideline. Mpigirwa kept playing and lofted the ball over the goalie’s head to tie it 1-1 with 35:45 left.
“He was tough … he had some pace,” Morgan said. “They worked very hard to find him. One of the things we realized in the first half is that if we can close down their midfield – they’d be less dangerous. The game got spread out once the score started to pick up. We got spread out, we got stretched and they found some angles.”
The other came seven and a half minutes later off a feed by Jacob Hoffman to give Whetstone a 2-1 lead.
Hayes tied it with a Noah Smith goal with 18:24 remaining to set up the final sequence.
Briggy Kannally scored for the Pacers in the first half and added a pair of assists to lead the Pacers (4-11-2), who were seeded 35th.
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