Karen Kase | The Gazette
GRANGER TWP. — Austin Seaman kept his team in the match for nearly 79 minutes Saturday. Highland’s senior goalkeeper made some remarkable saves on senior day, but Buckeye spoiled the fun and claimed a 1-0 non-league victory in the closing minutes.
With just 1:26 left, Bucks senior midfielder George Rusinko retrieved a loose ball near the 6-yard line and knocked in the winning goal.
“There was a corner. Ryan Cobb played the ball in and it took a couple bounces,” Rusinko said. “The goalie was off his line and I just tried to hit it.”
“We came here to win. We wanted to play physical, play intense and win every 50-50 ball. Our mentality was to not stop until the final whistle. That’s what we did. Everyone who was on the field today stepped up. It was a hard-fought game.”
The game played out fairly evenly on paper, with both teams getting good chances on the offensive end. Buckeye (11-2) held a narrow 7-6 edge over Highland (6-5-1) in shots on goal plus a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks.
The Bucks’ frontline features three of Medina County’s top scorers in Rusinko, Ryan Grauel and Dan Oswald, but they were held in check until the final two minutes of play thanks to Seaman’s solid play.
Seaman (7 saves) repeatedly came off his line to stuff the ball, make sliding grabs or break up Buckeye’s talented attack.
“Austin was the only player to show up for us today,” Hornets coach Bob Sefcik said. “He has a bit of experience under his belt and has been here before. On days like this when the rest of the team isn’t in it, Austin is prepared. He is one of our senior leaders and that is what we expect out of him. Unfortunately, he didn’t get much help in front of him, so he had a lot of work to do.”
Bucks coach Dan Collins, who has his team in the midst of a seven game winning streak, agreed.
“Highland has a quality keeper and we knew it was going to take something special to beat them,” he said. “They are really well-coached and they are a quality team. We just ended up on the better side of it today.”
The game was stopped for several minutes midway through the second half as the referee was attended to by Highland trainers after getting hit in the face and glasses with the ball.
Contact Karen Kase at firstname.lastname@example.org.