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Dragons slip past Blackhawks in shootout



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Blackhawk Nick Poli fights off a Lake Orion defender on Sept. 10. Photo by Wendi Reardon. (click for larger version)
September 14, 2011 - The Lake Orion Dragons downed the Brandon Blackhawks boys varsity soccer team 7-6 in a sudden death shootout during the opening game of the Oxford Invitational Soccer Tournament.

Both teams came out playing with intensity at the beginning of the game. Byron Herrara from Lake Orion scored the first goal of the game with 12 minutes remaining in the half. The Dragons continued to control the ball and set up several attacks on goal. Brandon answered with its own offensive with two minutes remaining in the half when Isaac Scherer took a shot and Kyle LaCroix barely missed a rebound opportunity with the Dragon's goalie out of the net. The Dragons finished the first half with a 1-0 lead.

Momentum shifted with 22 minutes left in the second half when Blackhawk Cameron Craig crossed the ball from the left corner which Isaac Scherer headed into the net tying the game. Brandon dominated the remainder of the second half, both sides of the ball. Brandon continued to play intelligent defense led by senior Nick Poli. Although the Blackhawks had multiple scoring opportunities, regulation play ended in a 1-1 tie.

The game continued into a shootout per tournament regulations. Brandon scored three goals by Cameron Craig, Tyler McCoullough and Nick Poli in the first shootout answered by three goals scored by the Dragons. The game remained a 4-4 tie at the end of the first shootout. Then the game moved into a nail biter sudden death. Blackhawks Kyle LaCroix and Alex Bageris put the ball in the net as did the first two Dragon shots.

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On the eighth shootout shot, Lake Orion Dragons edged out the Brandon Blackhawks with a final score of 7-6.

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