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Boys Soccer: Loggers go to OT to eliminate Hamilton

by Brad FuquaWestern News
| October 20, 2009 12:00 AM

Unable to suit up last year because of a knee injury, Crawford Dinning was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Libby High School boys soccer team captured its first-ever state championship.

Now as the Loggers go for a repeat, Dinning finds himself as one of the team’s top offensive weapons. On Saturday in the opening round of the Class A playoffs, the LHS junior scored three goals – two in overtime – to help the Loggers advance past Hamilton, 4-2.

“Crawford Dinning had the game of his high school career,” Libby coach Charlie Webster said. “He had a serious injury a year ago (anterior cruciate ligament) and today he was the Crawford Dinning I had seen in the past.”

With the game tied 2-2 since the final minutes of the first half, the Loggers finally broke through five minutes into the first of two 10-minute overtimes. Dinning stole the ball from Hamilton’s Cody Brough, sprinted downfield on the left side and then made his way to the middle where he finished for a 3-2 Libby lead.

In the second OT, the Loggers put the game away on another Dinning goal. This time, Cree Maloney set him up with the assist and the Broncs could only think about next year. Moments later, Dinning left the game with high-fives from his coach and hugs from teammates.

Daniel Webster and Brandon Pagacz also had career games for the Loggers, the coach said.

Hamilton struck first blood in the game’s fifth minute on a goal by Steven Bauder. Libby answered in the 28th minute when Dinning brought the ball down the right side and crossed it over the middle to Edson Vences, who was in the perfect position to finish.

Seven minutes later, Libby took the lead when Dinning scored in traffic after receiving a pass in the middle from Maloney. But Hamilton finished with the equalizer in the 40th minute when Saylor Johnson scored on a 25-yard shot from right to left.

The Loggers had a chance only seconds later to reclaim the lead on a penalty kick by Nick Reny. The shot missed to the left, however, and the game remained tied.

“We made some mistakes and missed on some chances,” Webster said. “The game went to overtime and that was our doing.”

In the second half, Maloney and Dinning had decent chances at the net but were denied. Hamilton’s Dace Moerkerke also barely missed on a free hick that sailed high. Libby also had chances over the final 10 minutes of regulation but Hamilton’s defense kept disrupting the home team’s passing.

With 2:24 left, Marco Vences nearly came through on a shot that Hamilton keeper Nash Johnson had to go high to stop. The Loggers also had a chance on a corner kick in the final minute but a Maloney header couldn’t find the net.

Libby then dominated in overtime to advance to a second-round date with Billings Central.