CRYSTAL CITY–The Bayless boys soccer team picked a bad day to have a bad day on Wednesday.
The No. 6-ranked small school team in the area traveled nearly an hour south to Jefferson County to take on No. 4-ranked St. Pius X High School, but couldn’t overcome a discombobulated start and suffered a season-ending 2-1 loss in a MSHSAA Class 1 sectional contest against the Lancers.
“We just came out flat,” Bayless coach Dave Pozzo said. “The played a part in it, but we were just flat. And they came out real fast and jumped on us.”
St. Pius actually got both its goals pretty early on, with senior Eli Surdyke netting his 21st of the season, on a free kick header, after Bayless goalkeeper Almir Mesanovic was called for touching the ball with his hands outside of the goalbox.
Lancer defender Chad Otec took the free kick and lifted a perfect pass over Mesanovic’s outstretched hand that Surdyke buried into the back of the net, to make it 1-0 St. Pius X.
Then five minutes later, St. Pius’ Hayden Ginsburg, a player not known for his goal scoring, made a terrific spin move, then fired a rocket toward the net that Mesanovic couldn’t reach for his first goal of the season and a 2-0 Lancer lead.
“He’s had some bad luck,” Otec said. “He has hit some posts and put one over the crossbar.”
On Wednesday though, he was right on the money, for a goal that advances the Lancers to the state quarterfinals on Saturday.
Bayless made it quite interesting though in the second half.
First, junior Fazlo Alihodzic got the Bronchos on the board with a perfect corner kick that he bent perfectly past goalkeeper Garrett McDowell, for his 25th goal of the season to make it 2-1 Lancers.
Bayless’ season ended with the team boasting a 21-5-1 record, an undefeated South Central Athletic Association championship and the program’s second straight district championship.
The Bronchos nearly tied the score with just about five minutes left, but a point-blank shot by Mahir Omeragic sailed wide right, and with it went any chance of a miracle comeback against the Lancers.
“I kind of got on them about playing our game and also picking up our work rate,” Pozzo said. “They did that. We just couldn’t put it in.”
SPX: Eli Surdyke (21), assisted by Chad Otec – 10’.
SPX: Hayden Ginsburg (1), unassisted – 15’.
Bay: Fazlo Alihodzic (25), unassisted – 15’.