The Hannibal boys soccer team lost 3-0 to rival Marshall on Saturday at Veterans Sports Complex to finish runner-up to the Owls in conference.
The second time around produced the same outcome for the Hannibal boys soccer team.
With a chance to earn a share of the North Central Missouri Conference championship, Hannibal (15-4, 8-2 NCMC) lost 3-0 to rival Marshall (14-4, 10-0) on Saturday at Veterans Sports Complex.
The Pirates finish runner-up to Marshall in the league.
The Owls previously beat Hannibal 2-1 in penalty kicks on Sept. 22 to take the driver’s seat in the race for first place.
“Our guys were pumped for this game,” Hannibal coach Eric Hill said of Saturday’s rematch. “We knew what was on the line and felt good coming in.”
Isaac Salmeron put the Owls on the board just five minutes into the match.
The Pirates had scoring opportunities in the first half but were unable to convert. Marshall led 1-0 at the intermission.
“We came out sluggish and nothing was going as planned,” said senior defender Caleb Ketsenburg. “We had more opportunities than them, we just couldn’t convert.”
One minute into the second half Giovanni Sandoval scored on a corner kick to extend the Marshall lead to 2-0.
Despite playing from behind, Hannibal still kept pressure on the Owls’ defense. In the 46th minute the Pirates were awarded a penalty kick for a hand ball inside the box.
Oscar Santamaria dove to his left to stop the Hannibal shot, keeping the shutout intact.
“It is unfortunate because we thought we had a goal before the whistle was blown,” said Hill. “The keeper made a nice save. We could have picked up some big momentum.”
The Owls found the net again in the closing minutes to seal the win.
Marshall finished the season with a perfect run through the conference — the same feat Hannibal pulled off a year ago.
“We picked a bad time to have a bad game,” said Hill. “We will move on from it and be ready to play on Monday.”
More big challenges are ahead for the Pirates.
Hannibal has two remaining regular-season games scheduled against Troy Buchanan and Hickman before heading into districts.
According to senior forward Adam Albright the Pirates must now start playing the best brand of soccer they have all season.
“This is a good wake-up call because we know we can play better than this,” Albright said.
The next opportunity for the Pirates will be Monday when they are slated to play a road game at Troy Buchanan.