It was truly last second heroics that ended the Rising Sun High and Bohemia Manor boys’ soccer showdown Thursday afternoon, coming down to just one penalty kick at the end of the first overtime period to declare a winner.
When the ball left Rising Sun junior Corey Thomas’ foot, it seemed that Bohemia Manor keeper James Davidson had blocked it away from being the game-winning goal.
But as the ball sat in front of the goal, it was Thomas who followed-up on the shot and placed it in the back of the net for the 3-2 game winner.
“I was really nervous because it was in overtime and was the game winning goal if I scored,” Thomas explained about his pre-shot jitters. “I tried to keep it low since the wind was coming real hard and I didn’t want to kick it over. I kept it low, it hit off the goalie’s feet and I just followed it up and shot it in.”
During the blustery game, both the Tigers and Eagles were having controlling the ball, creating a different pace of lay that neither team had been expecting. While Rising Sun was able to provide a
stronger sense of controlled offense to post two leads in the game, Bohemia Manor was able to capitalize of quick hits to tie the game twice and send it into the overtime period.
“[Our team] played real well as far as their heart and hustle,” Tigers’ head coach Ken Ulrich said. “Twice they scored and tied it up, and twice we were able to come back and score again for the win. We didn’t play the best as far as our field goes, because of the wind and field conditions made it tough for everybody to play.”
Just six minutes into the game, Rising Sun sophomore Hunter Deckman put the first point on the board, coming off a nice cross from senior Tyler Smith, only to see the Eagles reply with a shot from junior Kelvin Mwangi to post a 1-1 tie.
The second half was host to two more goals, the first coming off a fantastic shot from Tigers’ senior captain Zach Strubble, launching the ball from 10 yards outside the box and bending it into the
upper-right corner of the goal for a 2-1 lead.
“I was playing in the center, but there was a big opening on the left side, so I slid to the left a little bit,” Strubble explained. “I had a bunch of time and decided to rip it. I knew the wind was coming pretty hard so I kind of put it up in the middle and it bent right in.”
Only five minutes later, Eagle senior Mackenzie Taylor chipped his shot over a diving goalie for the 2-2 tie with 20 minutes still to play.
Those final 20 minutes of regulation play saw a few opportunities for Rising Sun to put the game away, but none as close as in the 70th minute, when Thomas deflected a shot off the right post and saw it ricochet out-of-bounds.
“My hat is off to Bo Manor for working hard,” Ulrich said. “But we knew they were going to be like that and our boys stepped it up and
played back just as tough.”
Goalies on both sides spent time both on the ground and in the air, making diving stops and controlling their defensive regiments, and Rising Sun senior Shane Muller totaled four saves to Davidson’s five.
“I thought the boys played great,” Eagles’ head coach Kevin Lentz said. “They stayed in the whole game, and I thought they played well enough to win.
We need to keep moving the ball on the ground, keep the game simple and not over complicate it.”
The Eagles won’t take flight again till their game against North East, next Thursday, while the Tigers are back on the prowl on Monday, hosting Joppatowne.
“We can obviously work on our touches, which are a big thing that we preach all the time, our passing,” Ulrich said. I think, because of the conditions, we kind of got out of our comfort zone. That is something we have to put ourselves back into.”
Rising Sun 3, Bohemia Manor 2, OT
Rising Sun 1 1 1-3
Bohemia Manor 1 1 0-2
Goals: RS-Hunter Deckerman, Zach Strubble, Corey Thomas; BM- Kelvin
Mwangi, Mackenzie Taylor.
Assists: RS-Tyler Smith; BM-Taylor
Saves: RS-Shane Muller 4; BM-James Davidson 5