PAOLA – The Paola soccer team rallied from a two-goal deficits twice against Baldwin, but could not finish it off for a win.
Paola made it a one-goal game twice at Panther Stadium on Monday, Sept. 30, scoring to close the gap to 2-1 and 3-2 before falling by a final of 4-2.
Baldwin fired a shot in the opening minute of the game, but Paola keeper Austin Weaver was there to make the save.
Paola countered with an attack on the goal by Jonathan Villalobos who fired a shot wide of the Baldwin goal with 27 minutes left on the clock.
Ryan Wokutch was taken down near the Baldwin box and given a direct kick. He chipped a shot over the Baldwin wall, but was denied by the Bulldog keeper.
Gabriel Talledo Lena had a great chance on a pass from Villalobos, but the shot was saved by Baldwin.
Braden Whitehurst took a corner kick for Paola and the ball floated across the Baldwin goal. Wokutch was there for the Panthers, but just missed getting his head on it for the shot with 11 minutes left in the first half.
Villalobos had a busy first half, taking a direct shot and hitting it over the Baldwin wall to be denied by the Bulldog keeper with nine minutes on the clock.
Wokutch was taken down near the box for the third time, beating the final defender. No card was given on any of the three takedowns.
Villalobos fired another shot with less than five minutes to go in the half, but Baldwin’s keeper made the save.
The Panthers had a couple of defensive lapses in the final three minutes. Baldwin took advantage, scoring twice to take a 2-0 lead at the half.
Paola did not pressure the ball, allowing Baldwin to walk the ball inside the box and take point-blank shots against Weaver, who had no chance to make the saves.
Whitehurst opened the second half, taking a shot two minutes into the action. His shot was saved by Baldwin.
Five minutes into the second half, Baldwin headed a shot on goal that Weaver corralled for the save.
Dominic McCoy had a great chance for Paola and fired a shot wide of the Baldwin goal with 30 minutes left in regulation.
Baldwin fired a shot, but Weaver made the save with 28 minutes on the clock. Weaver made another huge save three minutes later.
Carden Escobar brought the ball in for Paola and took a shot that was saved by the Baldwin keeper with 21 minutes to go.
Wokutch had the ball, passed it to Villalobos who directed it to Mason Escobar for a great shot. Baldwin deflected the ball, giving Paola a corner kick with less than 20 minute to play.
Talledo Lena made a great cross to Wokutch, who finished if off with a goal to make it 2-1 with less than 16 minutes in the half.
Baldwin answered with a goal four minutes later to make it a two-goal game again, 3-1.
Wokutch brought Paola to within one goal for a second time, taking a pass and blasting a shot to the right corner to make it 3-2 with 8:25 on the clock.
Weaver made a huge save with 4:20 left in the game. Baldwin had another chance 65 seconds later and put it in the back of the net to seal the 4-2 victory.