Through its first six games of the season, Millard West had scored just four goals — and two of those came in overtime.
After 80 minutes Thursday, the Wildcats nearly equaled that number.
Class A No. 9 Millard West, coming off an overtime loss to top-ranked Omaha Creighton Prep, put together a full effort in a 3-1 victory over fourth-ranked Omaha Westside in the quarterfinals of the Metro Conference tournament.
The Wildcats advance to Friday’s semifinals, where that same Prep team that escaped with a 2-0 win Tuesday night will be waiting.
“We’ll see,” Millard West coach Ron Beernink replied when asked if Thursday’s scoring could be a good sign of things to come. “We’ll have another tough one (Friday) night.”
The Wildcats were strong almost all over the field Thursday, especially on offense, where they tallied more than one goal for only the second time all season. Millard West (4-3) has been shut out in all three losses.
Dan Zapata ensured that wouldn’t happen with his pair of first-half goals. His first came about 15 minutes in. The sophomore netted his second on a nifty slip pass from junior Landon Sibole in the 36th minute.
“They came prepared,” Westside coach John Brian said. “They were always dangerous. They played very, very well.”
Westside’s Ali Sodal got the Warriors (6-2) within one on a penalty kick 13½ minutes into the second half.
Sodal had a free kick from about 30 yards out and an opportunity in the box in the next eight minutes, but both come up just short.
Sibole’s clincher in the 62nd minute came after a strong Zapata counterattack. The Sibole blast was deflected before it got to the goal and beat Quinn Nelson.
Enough to cure the scoring woes?
“Hopefully,” Beernink said. “It’s a mental thing for our guys, I think.”
Millard West (4-3) ........................... 21—3
At Omaha Westside (6-2) ........................... 01—1
Goals: MW, Dan Zapata 2, Landon Sibole. OW, Ali Sodal.
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