Wetumpka upends rival to earn first playoff berthPublished 9:17am Thursday, April 25, 2013
Alex Lindsay led the Wetumpka Indians soccer team to their first postseason appearance in 10 years.
“I scored in the last minute on a breakaway,” said Lindsay, the Tribe’s senior striker. “It was just pandemonium. We had about 250 fans there and they were all doing the chop in the background. It was just so loud. It was crazy. My coaches were crying, it was unbelievable.”
Lindsay’s goal — his 104th on the year — literally put the Indians into the playoffs with the 3-2 victory over their rival Stanhope Elmore
Wetumpka and the Mustangs were tied for second in area play coming into Friday’s game.
The playoffs for those two schools began with the first kickoff.
“It’s always good to beat your county rival,” said Shon Boling, coach of the Indians (10-8-3). “Everyone there knew what was at stake. The winner goes on and the loser stays home.”
Wetumpka claimed the 4-3 victory.
“They are at home and we are going to Auburn, plain and simple,” said Boling. “I hate it for Stanhope; they have some quality kids. It’s tough to play all year and have your season come down to one game like that, but that’s what helps you get ready for the playoffs.”
The Indians, area runners up behind Prattville, will travel to Auburn Saturday evening to play the Tigers at 7.
“For four years, we’ve been playing together now, and just seeing everyone mature and be on the field together, it’s great to see that we’ve accomplished this,” said Demetrius Hooks, senior defender for the Indians. “After going through all those rough times, we were able to come together and move forward.”
In Friday’s game, Wetumpka scored first.
Oswaldo Nunez, early on the game, played a ball to Lindsay.
“It went over my head and my left wing, Lukas Wellenreuther, caught up with it and put it in,” said Lindsay. “There was just a calm from then on.”
Stanhope Elmore answered with a kick that left sophomore keeper J-Isaac Broughton without a chance to stop it.
“They got a ball overhead and it was just perfectly played,” said Hooks. “There was nothing our keeper could have done.”
The two teams went to the break knotted at 1-1.
Early in the second half, the Indians jumped head 2-1.
“There was a handball and as soon as their keeper put the ball down I played it,” said Lindsay, who will attend Faulkner in the fall to serve as the Eagles’ place kicker. “Ozzie headed it in for the goal. It was just crazy.”
Stanhope Elmore answered to deadlock the game at 2-2 with time ticking down.
“We were 0-4 when it came to the end of the game tied and I thought that was happening here,” said Lindsay. “We were going to keep it tied up and then go to overtime and then I broke free.”
The Indians have not been to the playoffs as a 6A squad.
“This is one of the best teams I’ve ever had here,” said Boling. “Jason McLaughlin was responsible for 120 goals. But we are past the time where someone comes in and dominates. You’ve got to have a really good team that’s playing well together. I think talent-wise and work-together-wise, we are at a really good place.”
The Auburn/Wetumpka and Opelika/Prattville winner will meet in the second round.