MERRILLVILLE | Senior nights take on a whole new meaning when they also mark the final home match for a coach who has been at the same place since long before his 17 seniors were born.
Andrean coach Pete Reist received a poignant sendoff. It didn’t involve Gatorade, flowers or the revealing of a mural. His Andrean boys soccer team beat Times No. 7 Munster 2-0 Wednesday night to earn the 59ers a share of at least a two-way tie for the Northwest Crossroads Conference title.
“That was nice,” the reserved and retiring Reist said. “They gave me a win on the field for the last game here. It was a nice finish.”
Munster (6-6-1, 4-1) needed to win to secure an outright title, but goals in the 60th and 62nd minutes by Andrean mean the Mustangs have to win the rain-delayed continuation match with Hobart tonight to tie Andrean and Highland for the conference tri-championship.
The Mustangs lead the Brickies 1-0 with 31 minutes to go after their last attempt was delayed. They’ll pick up in that scenario.
Andrean (9-7, 5-1) has won five of its last six matches.
The game was devoid of cards, corner kicks and goals until Andrean’s Lucas Nowesnick scored on a sideline throw-in from Evan Fogle.
“(Nowesnick) refused to quit, and he stuck with it,” Reist said. “Then boom, boom, boom, a lot of top spin, and it got in there.”
Less than two minutes later Andrean forward Mike Gore drew a penalty in the box on an attempted header. He scored in the bottom left corner on the penalty kick to account for the final score.
“That’s killer,” Munster coach Jim Prasopoulos said. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes where we stab ourselves in the back and give the other team a chance to score.”
There was a delay to the game’s start as the 59ers paid tribute to an astounding 17-man group of seniors that included Gore, Fogle, Nowesnick and starting keeper Chris Orozco (10 saves).
Two stoppages for Munster injuries extended the night, including a collision between Eric Guetzloff and Munster’s keeper that earned Guetzloff a yellow card with 8:58 to go in the match.