UNION TWP. | The difference between Wheeler and Marquette Catholic in Monday’s Wheeler Class A sectional first round game was the size of Bearcats' keeper Patrick Berg’s fingers.
Berg made a fingertip save on Reagan Deporter’s shot in the fourth round, which opened the door for his team to win the overtime shootout and upend the defending sectional champion Blazers 4-3.
“I was just reacting,” said Berg, who made eight saves in the win. “I watched him and just picked the right side. I made a mistake (earlier) and I redeemed myself.”
Both teams got goals from their first two shooters. Wheeler (9-6-2) took the lead in the third round as Ben Moricz scored after Ian Wood’s shot for Marquette went over the bar.
Berg made the stop on Deporter and after a Wheeler miss to keep the game going, the Bearcats clinched the victory when Dominic Vernon’s shot hit the post to take the shootout 3-2.
“They hit the post two times,” Wheeler coach Dave Bock said. “A lot of that’s luck, and (Berg) gets a finger on one and makes the save.”
Marquette had the potential game-winning goal called off in regulation with 2:53 because of an offside call. Isaiah Papineau was ruled to have been offside because he was behind Berg when he scored.
“To have three players laying in the goal, two other players on the post and still call an offside, that’s tough,” Marquette coach Matt Fletcher said.
The Blazers (10-4-1), who trailed 3-1 at halftime, tied the game with two goals in a 12-minute span of the second half.
Jack Disser made it 3-2 in the 55th minute when his free kick from 40 yards out skidded along the ground and got past Berg into the net.
Disser set up Joe Salyer for the tying goal in the 67th minute with a cross that Salyer headed into the back of the net.
Joey DeSimone and Brenden Melvin scored within 10 minutes of each other in the first half to put the Bearcats ahead 3-1 at the half.
Marquette’s Luke Salyer opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the game. He took a cross from Disser and chipped the ball inside the post.
Wheeler’s Cam Foor tied the game 79 seconds later with his 24th goal of the season off a Moricz corner kick.