“I knew I was in the center of the goal,’’ Crose said. “I had my mind made up to go right. I didn’t even know where the keeper was, so I was blessed to finish it.’’
Trailing 1-0 at halftime, Herscher (21-4-1) turned up its offensive pressure in the second half. The Tigers tied the contest with a goal on a penalty kick from Nick Wheeler in the 59th minute. That was one of many shots on goal in the second half for Herscher.
“Herscher is a big, physical team and I think they got a few more breaks on the whistle,’’ Klaber said. “But even that didn’t cost us in this game. We just didn’t capitalize on the chances that we had.
“If you look at our losses this season, they came when we were playing not to lose instead of playing to win. It’s unfortunate that they got the two goals the way they did with a PK and scoring at the end. But I told our team before the game, that one goal wasn’t going to win today.’’
While Herscher advances to Tuesday’s super-sectional game at Urbana, the Hoopeston Area Cornjerkers cap their season with a regional title and a share of the Vermilion Valley Conference championship along with the Salt Fork/Westville Storm Tigers.
“It was a great season and a great way to cap my senior year,’’ Crose said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys or a better coaching staff. Our community was behind us all of the way.’’
Klaber points outs that his seven seniors (Crose, Levi Stebbins, Cassidy Dixon, David Cornelius, Elijah Yates, Mason Jett and Trey Anderson) raised the bar with the school-record 18 wins to go along with a regional title and a conference title.
“Hopefully, our non-seniors got a taste for this,’’ he said. “And, I hope there is a little pit in their stomachs that will drive them to get us back here in this position.’’