By Patrick Klein

Arizona men's soccer coach Dave Parsons says the shootout is the worst way to lose a soccer game. Yesterday, his team found out why.

The Wildcat fell in the championship game of the Arizona Soccer Spring Tournament to the Sting, a local men's team, 4-3 in the shootout.

"It's the worst way to loose a game, it's luck, a player can miskick the ball," Parsons said. "The game was even, played by two even teams."

The shootout was necessary after neither team could find the net in the 10-minute overtime period.

In a shootout, five players from each team are selected to shoot at the opposing goalie. Each team gets five shots and whichever team scores the most wins.

The shootout turned on each team's third shot. Tied at one goal apiece, a shot by Arizona's Steve Pongratz sailed past the goalie but hit off the upright and bounced out. The Sting then converted their attempt.

Both teams scored on their fourth shot, and the Wildcats needed to score on their final shot to stop the Sting and stay alive. bullet to the right side that found its way under the diving goalie, the game rested on the shoulders of Wildcats goalie Scott Jacobs.

Jacobs exploded from his crouch, but the ball was faster to the goal line and the Sting's victory celebration began. After the game, Jacobs talked about being a goalie in a shootout.

"There's no pressure on the goalie," Jacobs said. "It's the shooter's responsibility to score. He's 12 feet away, he should make it every time, it's like a foul shot.

"I go in there thinking I have nothing to lose. I want to stop one shot, and hopefully my shooters will put it in."

In the first half of regulation, the Sting struck first. On a defensive lapse, a midfielder cut up the middle past the defense and sent the ball past a diving Jacobs.

With the score still 1-0 in the second half, the Wildcats controlled the ball on the Sting's side of the field. After three straight corner kicks by Arizona, Dave Mills was loose in front of the Sting net and punched it through to tie the score at 1-1, which is how it stayed until the shootout.

The finals capped a grueling weekend of soccer for both teams.

In the preliminary round-robin games, Arizona went 1-1-1. The Wildcats lost to the Sting 1-0, tied Arizona State 3-3 and beat the Rangers, a local team, 4-0. They advanced to the semifinals over ASU on a point-differential tiebreaker.

In the semifinals yesterday moring, Arizona routed Cal Tech 4-1, while Sting squeaked by the Big Dogs 3-2 in overtime. Read Next Article