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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Wildcats defeat Knights

Millard West took on Lincoln Southeast in a battle of top teams
Nathan Delaney
Millard West sophomore Diego Zapata takes a free kick against the Lincoln Southeast Knights. The Wildcats defeated the Knights 1-0 by winning the shoot-out in extra time. “In the extra time parts of the game we played them very smartly and defensively,” Zapata said. “We didn’t want to try and make a big offensive push and then lose the ball and have no defenders.”

Soccer season has officially begun in the state of Nebraska and the Millard West Wildcats are off to a good start with a win in their first game against the Papillion La Vista Monarchs. The Wildcats beat the Monarchs 5-1 on Thursday, March 14. Last season the Wildcats season was ended by the Lincoln East Spartans and ended with a final record of 7-9 in the sub-District final.

On Saturday, March 16, the Wildcats squared off against the Lincoln Southeast Knights. Millard West returns many key players such as sophomore Diego Zapata, senior Gabe Grifiths and junior Roman Didimenico. With the strength of the returning players, Millard West also has many new, young and talented players such as Carter Didimenico and Cooper Chrome.

As the whistle blows, the match begins. At the beginning of the first half, the Wildcats started strong by making runs into the Knight’s defense as well as controlling the midfield. The weather was with the wildcats in the first half as the wind was blowing south which helped in the attacking side of things as well a little bit of the defending. The Knights also did an excellent job of defending in the final third as they saved goals from Derek Johnson and Roman Didimenico.

“I feel like we played a very good game offensively,” Witte said. “We could’ve done a little better finishing our shots, but they had a solid defense that was hard to break. I also think we did a good job of controlling the game when we had the wind with us.”

The Wildcats put up an impressive 17 shots on goal throughout the game, with shots coming from players Victor Pena, Roman and Carter Didomenico and Derek Johnson as well as other players on the team. The Wildcats got into half tied 0-0 to the Knights.

The second half begins and the Wildcats have to attack into the wind. The second half is more defensive even though the score is ​​still 0-0. The Knights have lots of opportunities to score, but the Wildcats defense is very strong and doesn’t concede any goals through the second half and they don’t score any either. The game goes into overtime with a score of 0-0.

“The wind was a big factor in the game,” Guthrie said. “Even with the wind not cooperating we still played a good defensive game and took the game into overtime which was an outcome we were all happy about.”

Overtime consisted of two ten minute halves in which it was played very similar to the first and second halves of regular time. Still very windy and both teams sat back and played more defensive.

With the score remaining 0-0 after regular time and extra time. The Wildcats and the Knights went to a penalty shootout. The penalty kick started with both teams making their first two goals and then the Knights missed their third shot and the Wildcats made theirs so the score was 3-2. The Knights then made their next shot and so did the Wildcats making the score 4-3. Then the Knights stepped up to take their next shot and Wildcat goalie Griffiths made the save which helped the Wildcats secure the win in penalty kicks.

“We were all very happy with how the game ended and how we handled the pressure of the penalty kicks,” Roman Didomenico said. “If we can carry this momentum into practice and our next few games we have a good chance of making state.”

The Wildcats beat the Knights on Penalty kicks and improved to 2-0 on the season. The Wildcats will continue to play and make the push for the state tournament.

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About the Contributors
Wyatt Carmichael
Wyatt Carmichael, Staff Reporter
Wyatt is a junior at Millard West and beginning his first year on the CATalyst staff. In his free time Carmichael likes to create sports videography and photography and spend time outdoors with family and friends by fishing, hiking, riding bikes and waterfowl hunting. Wyatt loves spending time watching high school, college and professional sports. Whenever Wyatt is watching sports he enjoys cheering on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Nathan Delaney
Nathan Delaney, Staff Reporter
Nathan is a senior at Millard West and this is his second year on the CATalyst staff. He is taking Advanced Journalism, Broadcast Journalism and Yearbook this year. This summer he went to multiple journalism camps and went on a family vacation to Alaska. He also worked with the President of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Jim Timm, on the High School Radio Project. He is looking forward to expanding to new parts of journalism and furthering his skills this year.

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