Tigers score twice in final minute to stun Indians
— 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
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.
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.