Tigers score twice in fi­nal minute to stun In­di­ans

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— The sea­son was all but over for the Ris­ing Sun boys’ soc­cer team.

With one minute re­main­ing, the Tigers still trailed by two goals. They had yet to find the back of the net all night.

Ris­ing Sun scored its first goal with 50.6 sec­onds left in reg­u­la­tion. Ju­nior mid­fielder Braden Thomas then scored with 8.9 sec­onds re­main­ing to tie the score at 2 apiece.

Thomas tal­lied his sec­ond goal with 3:56 re­main­ing in the sec­ond and fi­nal over­time ses­sion, ad­vanc­ing the Tigers past host North East, 3-2, in the open­ing round of the 2A East Re­gion Sec­tion I Boys’ Soc­cer Tour­na­ment.

“We had a break­away, it was just a missed touch and it fell right to me,” Thomas said of the game-win­ning goal. “I knew that if we didn’t put it away there that we’d have to go into penalty kicks. We knew that wasn’t an op­tion, so I had to fin­ish that.”

The win­ning as­sist came from se­nior Ben Duffy.

Thomas also scored the ty­ing goal with less than nine sec­onds to play, head­ing in a cross from se­nior Bran­don

NORTH EAST

Brooks.

Ju­nior for­ward Martin Fer­nan­dez start­ing the last­minute rally with a free-kick goal from the right side of the penalty box with a lit­tle less than a minute left in reg­u­la­tion.

“We had a talk at half­time. I told them what they needed to do, what they weren’t do­ing. I told them that we weren’t go­ing to panic be­cause – I hate to say this about North East – but it’s three times in the last two years that they’ve had us by two goals and we’ve come back to win. I said, ‘I’m not pan­ick­ing, we’ve got 40 more min­utes to play, you guys can do it.’ And they did it,” Ris­ing Sun coach Ken Ul­rich said. “OK, maybe in the last five min­utes I might’ve been pan­ick­ing a lit­tle bit. But, this team makes things hap­pen and they showed a lot of heart at the end.”

The In­di­ans jumped on top early with a goal from Con­nor Rowe just seven min­utes into the con­test. Rowe scored again six min­utes later to give North East a com­mand­ing 2-0 lead with 27:41 still to play in the open­ing half.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Ris­ing Sun ju­nior An­drew Park sets up for a free kick dur­ing the Tigers’ 3-2 over­time win over host North East Thurs­day in the open­ing round of the 2A East Re­gion Sec­tion I Boys’ Soc­cer Tour­na­ment.

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