Tonawanda News — Tonawanda sophomore Nate Holler scored all six Warriors goals in his team's first two playoff games, but on Thursday night it was his passing skills that allowed Tonawanda to knock off No. 2 seed Southwestern.
After the teams battled to a scoreless draw after 80 minutes, Tonawanda wasted no time in overtime when Holler sent a low, line drive pass into the center of the box from outside left to a diving Phil Guiga who headed the game winner past the Trojans' goalkeeper to give the Warriors a 1-0 victory.
"I knew I had to lay out for it because it was pretty low, but I wanted to get there," Guiga said. "I saw (Nate) step to it but I didn't know if it was going to be driven or up in the air. I kind of paused for a second and the ball came to me. I went down for it and connected."
The Warriors (13-6-1, 6-3-1 ECIC IV) were the aggressor in the second half and spent a majority of their time in the Trojans' end. Tonawanda coach James Gabor thought his team won the possession battle, especially in the second half and in overtime.
In the 54th minute Holler got past the defenders and was one-on-one with the keeper after receiving a nice overhead pass. He scored but it was whistled dead on an offsides infraction. In the final 10 minutes, the Warriors had two scoring chances just outside the box, but sent shots just over the crossbar.
Guiga knew that if Tonawanda continued to put the pressure on Southwestern (14-3-2, 9-0-1 CCAA I) it would break through and score.
"We were possessing the ball really well today and we knew we would have our chance," Guiga said. "I told some of our players that I felt like we were outplaying them and I knew — they had some chances — but that we were going to put one in sooner or later."