The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Pioneers down Comets on senior night

- By Mark Perez-Krywany MPerezkryw­any@morningjou­rnal.com

Elyria only needed one goal on senior night to get the job done.

It came from sophomore Carter Koltas to leave with a 1-0 victory over Amherst.

THE SCORE

ELYRIA 1, AMHERST 0

It happened in the 16th minute after teammate Tim Rader stole the ball off a punt from Amherst goalkeeper Kyle Dumais.

Rader fed midfielder Koltas with a through ball to get him behind two defenders and for a rightfoote­d finish.

“Tim Rader crossed (the ball) right to me,” Koltas said. “I just tied to hit it in. (the ball) hit the goalie off, but it just slid right through.”

Koltas, who usually starts, came in off the bench for the score.

“I think everyone knows that’s what Carter (Koltas) can do,” Pioneers coach Brett Heighberge­r said. “He has that potential all the time. So, for him to step up and take advantage and finish that opportunit­y when it was presented was big. It allowed us to take a deep breath. It’s great to see him as a sophomore to step up in a big game like this and support his seniors (on senior night).”

Elyria progresses to 7-4-2 (2-3-1 in SWC). Amherst Steele is now 4-8-1 (2-4).

The score could have been 2-0 for the Pioneers after team captain Allen Prechtel stole a Comets pass in the upper-midfield.

Prechtel gave himself a chance with a solo run,

but his shot was saved by Dumais.

Prechtel was one of the catalysts for the Pioneers’ attack. In the second half, he received a long ball from Rader to go behind the Comets’ back line, crossing it to Sean Palmer for a shot that went over the crossbar.

“It’s been a blessing to have been able to coach (Prechtel) the last four years,” coach Heighberge­r said. “He’s a hard worker, he’s really come into his own as a leader in the last year. We really depend on him to be that catalyst. …

to get things going. (Be) the go-to guy. I think him and Gavin play in the middle very well together.”

Both the goal from Koltas and miss from Palmer came off intercepte­d passes, showing their ability to turn defense into offense.

Elyria’s defense didn’t allow many opportunit­ies for Amherst. The Comets got three shots off. None were on target in the first half.

“(Trying to score on Elyria) is frustratin­g,” Amherst coach David Thompson said. “You have a lot of

chances, but they fill a lot of lanes and they are physical in the back. It’s hard to break them down. Especially, with a good goalkeeper like that.”

The Comets, however, did put one in the back of the net in the first half. It came off an incoming cross that was saved by Elyria goalie John Freeman in the 20th minute. The deflected save turned into a scuffle with Roman Giannuzzi that placed the ball in the goal. The goal was called waved off after the sideline official ruled that Freeman

had possession of the ball before the scuffle.

“I had to take a deep breath,” Heighberge­r said. “But, when I heard that whistle and saw (the official) point to the spot. I had to take a deep breath (of relief) after that. It was kind of nerve-racking.”

The Pioneers are 3-0-1 in their past four games after losing four of their previous five.

On Oct. 9, Elyria will go on the road to face Brookside and Amherst will be on the road to face Brecksvill­e-Broadview Heights.

 ?? RANDY MEYERS — FOR THE MORNING JOURNAL ?? Allen Prechtel of Elyria and Ryan Graber of Amherst compete for the ball near midfield during the first half Oct. 6.
RANDY MEYERS — FOR THE MORNING JOURNAL Allen Prechtel of Elyria and Ryan Graber of Amherst compete for the ball near midfield during the first half Oct. 6.

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