Ethan Baxter Golden Goal seals Highway 97 victory for Sandites

By: Virgil Noah, Marketing Director
Photo: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Neither the Charles Page High School boys soccer team (3-11) or the Sapulpa High School boys (2-10) are having season to brag about, but when the two face each other the Highway 97 Rivals are always playing for something to brag about.  

Sapulpa came storming out of the gates as Senior Paige McCracken raced up the right line and took a shot that bent straight across the front of the goal. Sand Springs came right back with a chance of their own as Logan Jeffus sent a ball high over the defense and into the box. Sapulpa Goalkeeper Ethan Tanton came out in an attempt to grab the ball but Ignacio Garcia was able to get his head on the ball and chip it over Tanton to give the Sandites the first goal of the game. Moments later Garcia took a shot from well outside the box that dipped at the last moment and struck the crossbar and was cleared by the Sapulpa defense. 

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Sapulpa was able to equalize the game when a cross was sent into the Sandite box and a cluster of players blocked Sand Springs goalie Edgar Soberano's vision and allowed Colten Broughton to tap in the goal. Sapulpa would have a couple more chances to score but both shots went just high over the bar. 

The second half started out slow but picked up about halfway through, when a Chieftain corner found the head of Jesse Evans but his shot hit the crossbar and Soberano blocked away the shot attempt that followed. Soberano made another save right after that to keep the game level.  

The Sandites then took back control of the momentum as Cade Loomin dribbled all the way down the left line and into the box but Tanton made an impressive save on the shot. Ignacio Garcia then made a run of his own but crossed the ball back post to Simon Hollekve who first timed a shot that went barely wide. Then Loomin found himself wide open for another shot opportunity but his attempt hit the post and bounced away. 

Neither team was able to score before the end of regulation and the game was sent into extra time tied 1-1. The first few minutes were uneventful but then a Chieftain defender played the ball back to Tanton whose clear went directly to Ignacio Garcia. Garcia took a shot that Tanton was able to dive and save, but it ricocheted straight to Ethan Baxter who stroked the ball to back post for the game-winning golden goal. 

The Sandites will end the regular season Thursday night in Edmond against Deer Creek (11-1) while Sapulpa will take on Westmoore (1-12) Friday night on the road.