A Story of Sportsmanship in the Minnesota State High School Soccer Scene
A great story of sportsmanship was brought to my attention today. I was pointed in the direction of the Minnesota State High School League’s Facebook page. There I found a story that was written anonymously but have since found out it was penned by MSHSL Director of Information, Howard Voigt.
It is possible to lose a game that apparently had been won. That’s exactly what occurred Tuesday night in a varsity girls soccer game between Holy Angels and Minnehaha Academy.
Holy Angels hosted the game on its Richfield campus. The game was scoreless toward the end of regulation time and the Stars were still looking for their first 2012 season win. Then with the final seconds ticking down, a Stars player launched a shot that appeared to be the game-winner because time did expire. (Video of the goal)
However, Dave Marshak, head coach of the Stars, and the assistant referee (on the team side) both thought differently.
According to coach Marshak, and the assistant referee, the ball had clearly not entered the goal when the scoreboard hit 0:00 and the horn sounded.
As is customary, the referee and the lead assistant referee conferred and the goal was awarded to Holy Angels. Game over? Not quite.
According to Voigt, Doug Marshak, Dave’s brother and State Director of Instruction for the Minnesota State Referee Committee wrote to the MSHSL about the incident.
“Dave and the AR immediately agreed that the decision was wrong and the game should not end on what was clearly an incorrect decision,” said Doug Marshak.
Doug explained in the letter that Dave Marshak and the AR explained their stance to the referee, who ceded to their honesty and disallowed the goal which put the game into overtime. Minnehaha Academy scored in the overtime to win the game.
“Dave’s (player’s) parents and some of his players were very upset at his gesture,” brother Doug wrote, “but frankly, that’s as noble an act as you will see from a coach who told me before the game that he really felt pressured to get a victory.”
“He’s never started 0-3 before in his (six) years of coaching. He could have walked off the field and kept quiet, but he did what he felt was right. … I just don’t think amazing acts of sportsmanship that place what’s right ahead of getting a win should go unrecognized.”
Dave Marshak responded on Facebook saying he never expected the story to go public and he was surprised that it had. Dave did want to clarify that the parents of his players were caught up in the moment, and “their “blue and gold tinted glasses were in play.” He explained that it was upsetting to parents and players after experiencing a moment of jubilation with what appeared to be a last second win and then having the victory pulled from them.
“Several parents immediately after the game said even though it was tough they knew it was right, and even the ones riled up have since come off the ledge,” said Dave Marshak. “We try to do things right at AHA, and we have excellent supportive parents as well.”