Owls knock off Hannibal Pirates 7-0 in HHS' regular-season finale
It was one of those “Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong” games for the Hannibal High School boys soccer team.
After defeating North Central Missouri Conference champion Marshall on Saturday, Hannibal hosted the Owls at Veterans Field on Thursday, and it became quite clear the Pirates wasn't ready to score a second upset.
A Marshall penalty kick on a questionable call started a 7-0 onslaught that saw the Pirates coil into a ball of frustration in their regular-season finale.
“Unfortunately, we've got such a mental team that one goal turns into many,” Hannibal head coach Eric Hill said. “These things happen, sometimes a team just has your number. But five days ago we beat this team, and then we turn around and lose 7-0. We just have to be mentally tougher than we are.”
The Owls, who moved to 11-1 in the NCMC with the victory, looked to have a chip on their shoulders as they looked to avenge their 3-2 loss to the Pirates in Marshall on Saturday.
The scoring opened in the 12th minute on a Diego Umana penalty kick after an official whistled a Hannibal Pirate on a handball infraction. The ball appeared to bounce of the chest of HHS sophomore Keaton Bartz, but the official ruled the ball had rebounded off the defender's arm near the Pirate net.
Umana was given an open shot against Hannibal senior goalkeeper Luke Anderson, and netted the only score his team would need to the right of Anderson.
The Pirates were visually upset with the sequence of events, and Hill said that may have played a role in how the rest of the match played out.
“It's frustrating, but it's something we've got to be able to work through,” he said. “What got us tonight, is mentally, we didn't stay in it like we needed to.”
Hannibal had a few scoring opportunities early on, but Marshall keeper Omar Tinoco secured those opportunities to keep the game scoreless, and then the Owls ahead.
In the 22nd minute, Marshall went ahead 2-0 when Julio Tinoco fired a looping shot over the head of Anderson that snuck into the top left corner of the net. Juan Hernandez scored on a strike up the middle 12 minutes later to make it a 3-0 Owls lead that stood until the half.
The game started to unravel a bit for the Pirates when, down 5-0, a mess of players in front of their goal led to an own goal and a 6-0 Marshall cushion.
Hannibal senior standout Jack Baumann then had a bit of misfortune that added to his team's bad luck.
After HHS sophomore Cory Allensworth fired a shot that was deflect, Baumann corralled the ball just feet from the Marshall net and fired away. The shot went far left however, and the shutout stayed in tact.
Baumann later came up short in a 1-on-1 situation with Tinoco, firing his shot right into the hands of the goalie.
Hannibal (15-9, 7-5) managed just seven shots while the Owls manufactured 19.
While he wasn't happy with his team's performance, Hill gave his kudos to the victors.
“A lot of credit goes to marshall. They played really well tonight,” he said. “They came in looking for the revenge factor; they were fired up and ready to prove they were the true conference champs.”