MAISAD Semifinals @ Thornton Academy
Today Boys JV soccer went to Thornton Academy to take on the Trojans in MAISAD playoff soccer. And what a game it was.
We started off strong, with 2 goals from Justin Podell, and more importantly we played with an intensity and unbridled passion that we had not seen yet in the season. With no substitutes however, we knew that we would only be able to keep up that passion for so long. So despite the world class goalkeeping by Lucas McCabe, we ended up tied at 2 going into halftime.
The second half was more of the same, we started off well but seemed to lose focus and before we knew it we were down for the first time in the game. 2-3.
With our backs to the wall, something amazing happened. Instead of lowering our heads as many JV squads in the past have done, we reared back and pushed forward. Ale Atkins led this charge with pure ferocity, desperate to claw back into the match. With 17 minutes left in the half, Justin Podell scored another for the Hat-Trick and the game was once more tied. Multiple shots later, we had reached full time, and despite some very near chances (including one disallowed goal on a confusing offside call) we had to go into overtime.
Overtime in this case entailed two 5-minute halfs, and if the score was tied after that, two more half’s of 5 minutes with the Golden Goal rule applied. Overtime was uneventful, with neither team able to come very close to scoring. So we went into Penalty Kicks.
Both Teams were on edge as it started. We had not practiced PK’s before, and no one wanted to end our season like this.
But instead of being scared of the possibilities of the future, we gritted our teeth and started. They took the first shot and scored an easy PK past our goalkeeper. Rowan Schwartzwald stepped up to the spot and banged one in. It continued back and forth like this for a while until finally the Trojans goalie stopped one of our shots. Terrified, I walked up to the goal line, knowing one good shot was all it would take to end our season, and my career.
An eerie silence fell over the turf in Saco, ME…The Trojan winger who was actually from Turkey stepped up and placed the ball on the spot…And before I knew what had happened I’m diving for the ball…I guessed the right direction. But I was not quick enough.
The score. Season over…Or at least it would’ve been if the referees knew the rules as poorly as I did…The game was not in fact over, and we had another chance to win it.
Justin Podell stepped up to the spot and puts a bullet right past the keepers outstretched arms. I walked back up to the spot with a determination not to allow this ball past me…and that’s exactly what I did.
With the score tied once more we returned to our respective teams Huddle’s to choose the next five players to go to the spot. Sam Wolters went first this time and put one past the goalkeeper. His Thornton counterpart put one in the net as well.
I stepped up to the spot this time, I knew what was going through my opponents head, as had been going through it myself. And I scored, adrenaline coursing through my body, I stepped back into net, knowing that if I could save the next one, we would be through to the MAISAD finals.
Again, that Eerie silence…Again, the ball was placed on the spot…This time would be different…This time I stopped the ball…This time, we moved forward to face Hebron the JV MAISAD playoffs!