Fairview vs. Mercyhurst Prep boys football

With Sonny Vidakovic as the program’s coach, the Fairview boys’ soccer team wanted to win their 100th game.

Mike Copper, Erie Times-News

Sonny Vidakovic said he didn’t expect it at all.

No, not Monday’s low-scoring game between rival Fairview and Mercyhurst Prep boys’ soccer teams.

The Tigers prevailed despite a goal by the Lakers on a penalty late in the regulation for a 2-1 win in Region 3. The game was played on the new multipurpose field turf facility added to the Voreck Athletic Complex at Mercyhurst University.

What surprised Vidakovic was the cheers after Fairview’s victory.

It was someone who was in charge of the program as his 100th.

Vidakovic was presented with an engraved glass trophy in honor of this milestone reached at the beginning of his seventh season.

A banner reading “Coach Sonny 100 wins” was also unfolded after the game. It was covered in autographs from the 2021 Tigers.

Every Tiger who has played for him since 2015 should have signed it, according to Vidakovic. You were responsible for the first 99 victories in his current role.

“I’ve got 100 wins in seven seasons because the kids were here earlier,” he said. “I knew about (the milestone) and that’s still special.”

Fairview, which advanced to the PIAA Class 2A 2020 semifinals, won for the first time this season. The Tigers (1-1-1, 1-1-0) opened with a goalless draw against Mars Area, the state’s reigning Class 3A champions, but were then upset by the Seneca Bobcats.

Monday’s result ended a three-game winning streak for the Lakers (3-2-0, 1-1-0) who were 1 minute and 21 seconds away from being disqualified. Shea Wieslogel converted a penalty that suddenly halved the Tigers’ lead.

Wieslogel was successful in his one-on-one attempt against Fairview goalkeeper Luke Irvin.

The Tigers, however, denied Mercyhurst any opportunity to dramatically rule the game. Their victory was secured with a long kick into the Lakers zone after time ran out.

“The kick really changed the game,” said Fairview’s Josh Howells. “We had to concentrate even more on the defense so as not to lose another goal. But that’s why it was good that we built up the two-goal lead. “

Howells was responsible for the Tigers’ ultimate goal. The senior midfielder converted a brief rebound chance to Mercyhurst goalie Shaun McCausland with 8:33 before the end of the game.

Another midfielder, Junior Zach Scott, scored Fairview’s first goal less than nine minutes from time.

“We should be favorites, but I kept telling the boys that when you play against such a rival, there are no favorites,” said Vidakovic. “They played their best game against us, just like we wanted to do against them.”

Contact Mike Copper at mcopper@timesnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ETNcopper.