With a playoff spot on the line the Sunnyside Christian boys soccer team hosted Riverside Christian Tuesday afternoon.
The Knights came up short in a long, physical game that had to be decided in a shootout.
Ryan Van Beek of Riverside Christian scored first in the 16th minute of play to give Riverside a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes later Matt Haak took a long shot at the goal and Jake Bosma stepped in front of Riverside's goalie to head the ball into the net and tie the score at 1-1.
Riverside reacted quickly and Van Beek scored a somewhat controversial goal in the 26th minute.
That goal is what really fired up the Knights, according to Sunnyside Coach Russ Smies.
Michael DeGroot answered back in the 36th minute. DeGroot scored on a nice pass from teammate Aaron Van de Graaf, knotting the score at 2 all.
"DeGroot has incredible foot control," Smies added.
The Knights had a couple of scoring opportunities before the first half ended but came up short. Half-time came and it appeared the Knights had the momentum.
Riverside Christian came out in the second half fired up. They pressed the ball and kept it in Sunnyside's territory during the top of the half.
Riverside was relentless as they fired shot after shot. What could have been a disaster turned into a beautiful display as Knights keeper John Bosma made one amazing save after another.
"My hero of the second half was John Bosma," Smies said.
Bosma was attacked 11 times in the half and repelled every one of them. One shot in the corner was stopped by a diving Bosma, catching the ball before it went in.
Maybe inspired by the stellar play of Bosma, the Knights started to pick it up late in the second half.
"We were tired but in the last 15 minutes we stepped it up," said Smies. "We started passing better and started working well as a team."
The Knights make a couple of good scoring efforts before the half ended but were unable to capitalize. The half ended with the score 2-2.
In the two five-minute periods of overtime neither team did very much. Late in the second five-minute overtime Riverside had the ball down near Sunnyside's goal but good team work on the Knights part and Bosma's play stopped any threat of a Riverside goal.
After the scoreless overtime periods the two teams settled the game in a shootout.
The first shooter for Riverside booted the ball over the goal and then Van de Graaf came up and kicked the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 SCHS lead.
Chris Pinch tied it for Riverside and Haak's attempt went wide. Trevor Pinch scored on his try to give Riverside a 2-1 lead in the shootout. Joel Koopmans missed his try and when the fourth player for Riverside, Justin Lovern, scored on his try, the pressure was on. Jake Bosma's attempt was swallowed up by Riverside's keeper and the game was over. Riverside took the shootout 3-1 which gave them a hard fought 3-2 victory.
"It was a heartbreaker," Smies said. "We continue to improve noticeably with every game. I'm happy with the way we are finishing off the season.
Sunnyside (2-4) has three league games remaining. They play Riverside Christian again this Friday in an away game.