In a game that undoubtedly aged the Gremlin's coaching staff by several years, Sacred Heart clawed to a 3-2 victory over Class 4 Raytown in a game decided by penalty kicks at the Clinton Tournament.

Against a fast and technical team, the Gremlin's were forced to abandon their normal style of play. With an emphasis on defensive marking in the mid-field and clearing the ball out of the defensive zone, the Gremlins frustrated Raytown to a 0-0 score at half.

Just two minutes into the second half, John Ulbrich slammed home a goal off a pass by Francisco Rojas. The Gremlins defense, led by Junior Jude Rollings, held off an offensive onslaught for 20 minutes before giving up a Raytown goal in the 22nd minute.

Not to be denied a victory, Rojas then scored off a corner kick by Sam Bello to once again put the Gremlins in the lead. The Gremlins held strong, playing the game with only two substitutes, but tired legs began to lead to a lack of offense. With nine seconds remaining in the game, Raytown scored to send the game to Penalty Kicks.

Gremlin Head Coach Sam Jones chose Rollings, Ulbrich, Rojas and Bello for penalties and all four players calmly buried the ball in the back of the net. A shot over the goal and a huge save by Keeper Easton Webb secured the 3-2 victory for the Grems.

The Gremlins, 3-3, play Class 1 rival St. Paul's Concordia with a chance to win the Clinton Tournament. Sacred Heart returns to regular season action Sept. 10 at Helias.

Randy Kirby