AMERICAN CORNER — Overtime goals usually trigger celebrations, with teammates streaming off the bench to mob the hero.
Not Thursday night, Sept. 26.
St. Michaels High’s Bryan Itzep buried a penalty kick into the right corner 1 minute, 10 seconds into overtime to give the Saints a 4-3 victory over Colonel Richardson, then turned and stoically walked toward his bench with teammates.
“It’s a win,” St. Michaels head coach Pat Hambleton said. “That’s the simplest way to put it.”
It looked like an easy win, as the Saints (3-3 overall, 2-2 North Bayside) took a 3-0 lead with just under 35 minutes remaining in regulation, when Josh Sherwood steered a head pass to Kain Lynch, who calmly maneuvered toward goal and deposited a shot past Colonel keeper Blaine Davilla.
Over the next 27 minutes, Colonel Richardson (0-7, 0-5), which had scored just one goal all year, netted three to forge a stunning 3-3 tie.
The Saints were clinging to a 3-2 lead, when with under seven minutes remaining, St. Michaels’ Max Lemire and Colonel’s Tommy Burke crashed into each other while going for a ball. Lemire got up and stepped on Burke’s back, drawing a red card and an immediate ejection from the game.
Burke suffered a leg injury on the play and did not return. Neither did Davilla, Colonel’s starting goalie, who cut his head while defending a corner kick with 11:05 left in regulation. Christian Brewer finished the game in goal for Colonel.
Two minutes after Burke was helped off the field, St. Michaels was called for a handball in the box, setting up a penalty kick. Colonel’s Colby Rickwood drove a ball into the left corner that Saints keeper Nolan Sawatsky couldn’t reach for a 3-3 tie.
“We were never out of the fight,” Colonel head coach Ryan Blanchfield said. “Literally never out of the fight, and that was good to see. We’ve had a rough start. It’s easy to fold over when you’re 0-6 (entering the game).”
It’s also easy to cave when falling behind 3-0 in the second half.
“Credit to those guys, man,” Blanchfield said. “It’s what we preach all year. And they bought in. Might not benefit them here on the soccer field, but it will benefit them in life that’s for sure. It’s going to pay off this year for us.”
With 32 minutes left in regulation, Colonel’s Jackson Miller booted a ball from about 35 yards out on right wing that struck the far post and spun into the back of the net for Colonel’s second goal of the year and a 3-1 deficit.
“A miraculous shot,” Hambleton said of Miller’s goal. “They’re always the best-looking goals right off the post. Our defenders during one of the injury timeouts, guys came over and started saying, ‘Oh, my bad, my bad.’ Let the kid have credit. It was a heckuva shot.”
“That was a beautiful shot,” Blanchfield said. “We’ve been talking about it all year, cracking the ice. And that was a pretty shot. It doesn’t get any prettier than that.”
St. Michaels responded by taking five shots, but only one on goal that was caught by Davilla.
Then with just over 20 minutes remaining, Colonel worked a ball into the box that St. Michaels’ defense couldn’t reach before Colonel’s Tany Louis-Pierre moved in and knocked it into a wide open left side of the net to make it 3-2.
“Bad communication on a very old, senior defense,” Hambleton said. “Nolan was yelling ‘clear’, ball drops between three, four of us, and one of their guys, running hard, toe pokes it right there by Nolan because he just can’t see it.
“But that’s the definition of the second half was their effort,” Hambleton said of Colonel. “Really good job on not worrying about the 3-0 deficit, coming back, tying it up.”
St. Michaels took a 1-0 lead with 13:05 left in the first half when Winfield Devaric rose above the crowd and headed a Sherwood corner kick past Davilla. Then with the final seconds of the first half melting away, Sawatsky unloaded a booming kick from his box that Ben Romberger tracked down and popped into the net for a 2-0 halftime lead.
The Saints extended their advantage to 3-0 before the Colonels’ rally pushed the game into overtime, where Colonel was called for a handball in the box, setting up Itzep’s game-winner.
“Usually when taking penalties I just go where the keeper isn’t going most of the time,” Itzep said. “I just do it that way. This time he (Brewer) actually guessed where I was going (right corner), which was kind of weird. I don’t know. Can’t explain.”
North Caroline 3, Cambridge-SD 0
CAMBRIDGE — Nick Chong, Carlos Ixlaj Fuentes and Justin Tasker scored goals, moving the Bulldogs to 5-1, 4-0. Chris Jones made two saves.
The Vikings fell to 3-4, 2-3.
Kent County 4, North Dorchester 1
WORTON — the Trojans won their first game of the season, improving to 1-5-1, 1-3-1.
Kent scored first on an own goal, and Robert Bourne (off a corner kick), Mayowa Taiwo (two goals, second off from 20 yards out) added on scores.
The Eagles are 2-3, 2-2.