It had to work a little longer, but the team that won last year’s Metro Conference tournament eventually earned the right to do so again.
Class A No. 2 Omaha South scored a goal in each overtime and advanced to Monday’s championship match with a 2-0 win over sixth-ranked Millard West on Saturday at Bergquist Stadium.
South’s 7 p.m. championship-game opponent is fifth-ranked Papillion-La Vista South, a 1-0 winner over No. 1 Omaha Creighton Prep in the day’s other semifinal.
“If you can win a game where you’re not playing your best, which I would say we weren’t today, I would say that is a good thing,” South coach Joe Maass said.
A game that both teams controlled for stretches swung South’s way early in overtime. Angel Jacinto settled a ball near the top of the box and went across his body with a shot to the low left side of the goal to get the Packers on the board in the 83rd minute.
South added an insurance goal in the second overtime when Jimi Becerril took a slip pass from Juvenal Jacinto and deposited it in the back of the net with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
“I don’t know where the energy was today,” Millard West coach Ron Beernink said. “Give Omaha South credit. They dominated that game.”
Packer keeper Luis Gama saved his team on a couple of occasions, including a ball that looked destined for the upper-left corner in the final minutes of regulation that he got his hands on.
Maass said his team’s possession game was the difference in overtime.
“I think that, in the end, kind of wore them out,” Maass said. “We won the last 20 minutes, for sure.”
South has won the last two Metro crowns but was forced to vacate last year’s title after it was discovered that the Packers played an ineligible player.
Omaha South (10-0) .............................. 0 0 1 1—2
Millard West (5-3) ................................... 0 0 0 0—0
Goal: Angel Jacinto, Jimi Becerril.
PAPILLION-LA VISTA SOUTH 1, OMAHA CREIGHTON PREP 0
The state’s hottest team kept rolling Saturday.
Michael Pierce found the back of the net with just under 10 minutes to play, and Papillion-La Vista South added to an impressive run since a season-opening loss with a win over the Junior Jays.
The Titans had lost their last six matches to Prep, a string dating back to 2007.
“We have been playing well,” Papio South coach Dave Lawrence said. “After that loss to start the year, we kind of realized that we play better as a team than we do individually.”
Pierce found himself with the ball after teammate Adam Dejka made a run through the Prep defense. Pierce fired through the clearing high and beat Junior Jay keeper Louis Floersch.
It moved the Titans into the Metro finals for the second time in four seasons. They fell to Prep in their previous championship appearance.
It was the eighth shutout of the season for Papio South keeper Cullen Fisch, who came up with a couple of stellar stops for the Titans.
“Prep took it to us today,” Lawrence said. “They controlled the first half. Cullen was huge back there.”
Eight of Papillion-La Vista South’s nine wins have come against teams that are currently ranked or were ranked earlier in the season.
“This team is having a lot of fun right now,” Lawrence said.
Papillion-La Vista South (9-1) ........................ 0 1—1
Omaha Creighton Prep (8-2) ......................... 0 0—0
Goal: Michael Pierce.
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