Cowboys epic playoff ride ends with shootout loss
Southwest Guilford finally ran out of overtime playoff magic.
The 16th-seeded Cowboys fell to fourth-seeded Hough 4-3 in a penalty-kick shootout late Saturday night in the fourth round of the NCHSAA 4A boys soccer playoffs.
Southwest, which worked overtime to win in rounds two and three, finished its season with an 18-5-2 record.
“I’ve been on both sides of the shootout spectrum,” Southwest coach Rob Szitas said. “It’s euphoria when you win and heartbreak when you lose.”
The Huskies improved to 22-5. Hough advances to the state semifinals to face undefeated T.C. Roberson (25-0-2) on Wednesday.
Southwest forced overtime with Carl Druebbisch’s free-kick goal with two minutes left in regulation that knotted the score at 1-1.
The teams battled through two 10-minute overtimes and a pair of scoreless five-minute sudden-death frames to reach the PK shootout.
Trent Mayberry, Druebbisch and Brian Jobe scored in the shootout for Southwest, which shot first in each round.
With the score tied at 3-3, the Cowboys missed on their fifth attempt. The Huskies won it with a goal on their try.
Southwest goalkeeper Kyle Shina made 10 saves.
The Cowboys wild postseason ride featured a 3-1 win over Porter Ridge, a 3-2 triple-overtime upset of top seed Garinger and a 1-0 overtime victory over South Mecklenburg.
“It’s always tough to lose, but I’m so proud of the kids,” Szitas said. “We had a tough stretch in the middle of the season, but they never gave up and put it all together for a great playoff run.”