The race for the Division II, District 4 boys soccer title ended abruptly Saturday as Belaire forfeited its match against Woodlawn in the 55th minute.
Belaire coach Tyler Love made the decision to forfeit with Woodlawn leading 4-0. The Bengals were trying to snag one of the last spots in the Division II playoffs.
The forfeit came about midway through the second half as tension was rising. Play was stopped after two Belaire players were ejected for inappropriate language directed at officials.
Referee Hadi Sharazi said the official reason given for the forfeit was that Love was concerned about the possibility of the conflicts escalating. Two other yellow cards were issued earlier for unrelated penalties.
Love declined comment after the game.
“Anytime you end the game like this, you wish you could finish it,” Woodlawn coach Andrew Barnes said. “I guess the good part about it is that we came away without any injuries, and we didn’t get anybody in card trouble, so that’s a big-time positive.”
Woodlawn was in control throughout, doing it in the same fashion as it had all season — on the back of striker Eduin DelCid.
The Panthers’ leading scorer registered his 10th hat trick of the season, extending his total goals to 36 on the year.
“It feel good because I scored another hat trick, and I’m getting better,” DelCid said. “I just play. This is fun for me. This is my life, and I do it for fun.”
It only took DelCid a little more than 30 minutes to put three balls in the back of the net, getting started in the fifth minute of play.
The junior received the ball at about the penalty kick marker with his back turned to the goal. In one swift movement, DelCid whipped his hips around to put a shot past the outstretched fingertips of the Belaire goalkeeper.
DelCid scored again in the 23rd minute after taking a hard foul in the box that put him at the penalty kick line and then again in the 31st minute on a point blank shot from the left post.
“It’s not a surprise to see him score,” Barnes said. “Now, how many he gets, that’s another situation.
“I don’t think he’s been shut out all year, so we know we’re going to get goals as long as we keep the back line intact.”
In the 37th minute, the Panthers’ Jacob Barnes scored on a a penalty kick.