This article was in The Cullman Times April 1, 2009
Dennis Mynatt tore off his jersey, swung it high over his head and joined the mob of St. Bernard Prep soccer players celebrating at midfield.The yellow card he got for his efforts? Totally worth it.“I see everybody doing it on TV, so I figured I should do it too,” said Mynatt, who scored the game-winning penalty kick in St. Bernard’s 2-1 win over Priceville Tuesday in Class 1A-4A, Section 5 play.Thanks to Mynatt’s penalty kick — and Jesse Schaffer’s big day in goal — St. Bernard moved within one win of a spot in the state playoffs for the first time since 2002.
With a victory Monday over West Morgan, the Saints (8-1-2, 5-1) will clinch the first postseason berth of head coach John Arndt’s tenure.“It would mean a lot (to make the playoffs,” said Arndt. “One of our goals the last few years has been to hang a banner in the gym … When we play as a team, there’s no reason we can’t play with anyone in the section.”
St. Bernard fell behind early, conceding a goal after a mix-up in the penalty area just three minutes into the game. The Saints tied it on a goal by Jason Lee with 28:28 left in the second half but couldn’t find the winner in the final half hour of regulation.In extra time, Schaffer made up for the early goal with a double-save on a Priceville attack. First, the Saints goalkeeper pushed a long shot onto the crossbar before saving from close range seconds later.“He’s the reason I think we won that game,” said Arndt.
“He made some great stops for us. After the game, he came over and apologized for the first one.”After two scoreless extra periods, the teams went to a penalty shootout. Priceville missed its third shot, while St. Bernard converted on all five for a 5-4 win.
None were bigger than Mynatt’s, which clinched the win.“Jason (Lee) tried to pump me up before the kick, but I told him to go away,” said Mynatt. “I needed time to myself. I did it just like we do in practice.”
St. Bernard hosts West Morgan next Monday at 7 p.m.
‰ Michael Cummings can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 258.