The slimmest of margins, in the slimmest of margins, combined to snap a nine-game winning streak for Class 2A No. 6 Perry Monday.
The Bluejays were defeated, 1-0, when Class 3A No. 13 Des Moines Lincoln scored with less than 10 seconds remaining in overtime at Dewey Field.
“How did the ball end up in front of our goal with less than 10 seconds? I don’t know,” Perry head coach Gary Overla said. “It did, and we misplayed it and they capitalized and won the game.”
“That’s that,” he added. “I don’t think our kids have anything to hand their heads about, it was just one of those instances that happened. It was unfortunate, but we will move on from this loss, learn a lesson from it and apply it to our remaining games.”
Lincoln (11-4) pressured the Perry (12-4) defense on numerous occasions, only to have back line and goalie Anthony Aragon repeatedly rising to the challenge to keep the guests off the scoreboard.
“Defensively I can’t say enough about our kids,” Overla said. “They played very, very well. Sophomore Jehovany Rivera and first-time starting freshman Marvin Sarceno played extremely well in the back and Anthony had an excellent outing and made some really crazy-good saves.”
Neither team flipped the zero under their name through 80 minutes of regulation play, forcing a 10-minute overtime. It appeared a second 10-minute overtime would be needed when Luis Arqueta found a loose ball in enough space to fire a shot that found the nylon, handing Perry their first setback since losses to Urbandale and Dowling Catholic April 8.
“Lincoln is a very good side and our kids played well, just not well enough to win,” Overla noted. “Game like this you just have to pick up the pieces and move on — if you don’t then you’ll drive yourself crazy wondering what went wrong. We have an idea of what we ned to improve and we will work on those things this week.”
Overla said playing high-level competition, as Perry has done with recent games against ADM and Lincoln, only helps to sharpen the team while giving them valuable experience in pressure situations.
“It was a really fun game — it was intense, it was filled with drama, and at times it was heart-stopping,” the coach concluded. “If that is the worst thing that happens to us then I think we are living right. The boys have no reason to hang their heads — as a staff we are very proud of their performance.”
Perry concludes their regular season Thursday with a visit from Pella.