Varsity boys soccer takes down Canyon in drawn-out Bi-District Championship, finishes game with 10 players

It was a series of improbable events Thursday night that culminated into a fiery boys soccer playoff Bi-District final. Westlake played Canyon High School (San Antonio), ending with a 2-0 win and three red cards.

The first of the irregularities: a lightning delay which paused play for 30 minutes, did little to change any momentum of the game. The Chaps already held a two goal lead and were in control defensively to prevent the Cougars from clawing back into the game. What was maintained throughout the break was the tension held between the two teams.

“They know that if they don’t win, they’re going home, so things get a little more nasty,” head coach James Baker said. “There are people trying to fight for every ball. I told the guys before the game ‘that’s what the playoffs are all about.’ We’ve been ready for it, and we stepped up and had a great game.”

Another unprecedented event took place when left-back junior Oscar Nordfjell lost his temper after a Canyon player mounted a poorly timed slide tackle that made direct contact with him. Nordfjell shot up to his feet and immediately shoved the player, having to be restrained by his teammates in a rage never-before-seen from the usually stoic and methodical defender. Both him and the opposing Canyon player were shown red cards, and Nordfjell will be banned from playing in Westlake’s next playoff game

“There were lots of emotions,” Nordfjell said. “They got the better of me. [Number 10] talked trash from the first minute. At least I shut [him] down, that’s all we needed.”

The referee spent more time than usual calming players, as many scuffles broke out through the course of the game. The Chaps thrived in the physicality, however, taking advantage of the limited looks on goal they had. Striker senior Stefan Rankovic opened up the scoring just two minutes into the game, and midfielder senior Josh Huynh increased the lead to two goals 16 minutes later. Baker said he wasn’t going to change his game plan despite going ahead early.

“We have a very strong belief in the way that we do things,” Baker said. “In our opinion, the way that we attack two goals is not enough. We want to keep putting pressure on. We’re not going to sit back and hope for the game to get done.”

The Chaps move on to face Lee High School (San Antonio) in the next round of the playoffs, the Area Championship. The game will likely be set for Tuesday. More updates will be posted soon at @FDSportWHS on Instagram and Twitter.