SOCCER Parks' goal nets Ursuline 1-0 win

The winning goal came in the final six minutes to oust West Branch from Division II play.
STRUTHERS -- It was the sweetest run of his life.
With 6 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the game, Ursuline High junior Greg Parks raced the length of the field with his arm in the air in celebration. His smile lit up the autumn night.
Parks found the range from about 15 yards out for his fourth goal of the season to help Ursuline (10-6-1) beat West Branch (6-8-4) 1-0 in the Division II boys soccer tournament on a slick turf at Valley Sports.
West Branch coach Matt Thomas said he felt the longer his team could remain in a scoreless game with the Irish, the better chance the Warriors would have to spin the upset.
Thomas nearly predicted the outcome; however, Parks was true on his shot and the Irish will play in a district game at Niles Monday at 7 p.m.
"I knew I had a nice touch on it and I thought I should take the shot," Parks said. "I got a good hit on it and it went right in."
How it happened: The play began when Ursuline senior Brian Rabel attempted his fifth direct kick of the game from the far left wing. The miss was played out to Ursuline's Jeff Serenko who found Parks open on the right side.
"I ran the whole field, I ran all the way back to our goalie," Parks said of his impromptu celebration.
"I knew that was an important shot. I played real hard after that because I wanted to win this game real bad."
Due to the difficult footing and stonewall defenses, neither team had many good chances until Parks' shot to the top left corner of the net.
The low scoring affair was played just the way the Warriors wanted it.
"We went into the game hoping 0-0 was going to be the score late in the game," Thomas said.
"We were one goal away from changing everything. Being the underdog, the longer you're in the game, the more pressure is going to be on them. When it was 0-0, that's where we wanted it."
Missed opportunity: Ursuline had one chance to score early in the first half when a direct kick by Rabel hit the crossbar and bounced away.
Ursuline coach Lou Fusillo also thought there may be little scoring in the game.
"West Branch has an excellent team, they come after every ball," Fusillo said. "I was worried. I knew one goal was going to win this game because the defense on both sides played strong. They packed the box on us; kept five or six guys back on us. They covered us well."
Neither team could generate consistent offense due to the sloppy conditions but the Warriors did manage to move the ball some under the direction of Zach Schopfer, Jerrod Baxter and Cory Criss.
Ursuline defenders, especially Ryan Petruska and Tommy Halko, were up to the challenge.
Finally Rabel started the scoring play and Parks put the Irish on the board.
"It was just a little chip over the top and it went in," Fusillo said.
Ursuline out-shot the Warriors 16-6.