Medomak Valley boys’ soccer coach Brian Campbell moved starting goalkeeper Robbie Griffin, and veteran defender Kazu Tibbetts up to the front line against Nokomis and it paid off with huge dividends, for a 3-1 win on Oct. 5.
Tibbetts scored on a cross from Brandon Soper seven minutes into the game. Nokomis evened the score on a header from Jeff Ludden. The Panthers took advantage of a strong wind to net two more goals to lead 3-1 at the half.
Medomak missed three shots on open net, before Tibbetts gave them the lead for good on a Jonathan Hendrickson-Belloguet throw-in from the left sideline. Tibbetts rolled the ball off his back and into the right corner.
Micah Williamson set up the third goal on a long through ball to Griffin. Griffin sent a little touch pass to his right, where Russell Wood stepped up and found net for the Panthers.
Ryan Ripley made two saves in 1st half action, and Griffin two in the 2nd half. Thomas Bachelder made five stops for Nokomis. Medomak had 11 shots in the game.
“The wind was such a factor. We moved Griffin and Tibbetts up front. We talked about it as a team. We weren’t getting enough shots on goal. The gamble paid off. We had lots of opportunities. It’s nice to have a win. The guys worked hard and it felt good,” coach Brian Campbell said.
The Panthers fought the wind in 2nd half action, which hampered their offensive efforts. They moved Griffin back in net and Tibbetts back on defense and protected their two-goal lead to pick up their second win of the season.
Medomak shut down the Tigers in the 2nd half, but the hole was already dug, and the Panthers were unable to climb out.
Gardiner held a 10-6 advantage in shots. Ryan Ripley made two saves for the Panthers, and Ian Lane two for the Tigers.
“We didn’t play our best. We had a hard time putting things together,” coach Brian Campbell said.
The 2-7-2 Panthers have three games left against heal point worthy Morse, Mt. View and Belfast. Medomak will have to come up with a couple of big wins to make the East B playoffs. Two-thirds of the teams make the playoffs this season.