Tigers win double-OT thriller to make finals

HOWARDS GROVE – Senior forward Duston Rabe’s goal in the second overtime gave the Howards Grove Tigers a dramatic 2-1 win over Kohler in the Division 3 boys sectional soccer semifinals here Thursday afternoon.

Senior Zach Stueven assisted on the goal that came seven minutes into the 10-minute period. Rabe took a pass from Stueven just outside the 18-yard penalty box and when goalie Ryan Zittel came out, Rabe dribbled around him and tapped the ball into the net.

The victory was the 10th in a row for the No. 1-seeded Tigers who improved to 22-2. The Blue Bombers, state runners-up last year, were the No. 2 seed. Kohler lost twice to Howards in Central Lakeshore Conference play this season.

The Tigers trailed 1-0 at halftime as the Blue Bombers won the possession battle in the first half. Howards came out strong in the second half and tied the match, 1-1, on senior forward-midfielder Paul Elzinga’s goal on a free kick in the 52nd minute.

“I am so proud of our guys. They never give up,” said Tiger head coach Todd Fischer.

“We came out kind of flat and let Kohler get into our heads. They possessed the ball much better than us [in the first half] and played a really good game.

“The boys [Tigers] were determined to win. They came out in the second half playing much better. During the overtimes, they worked very hard at creating and taking advantage of opportunities,” Fischer said.K

ohler grabbed a 1-0 lead on Garrett Griswald’s goal, assisted by Jake Hart. The Tigers held a 10-9 edge in shots on goal. Goalies Carter Rockhill of Howards and Ryan Zittel, Kohler, made eight saves each.


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