Northern wins in OT
Patriots boys overcome Panthers
Coming down the sideline to the left of the goal with the ball in his possession and a teammate streaking down the center of the field just minutes into overtime on Tuesday afternoon, Northern’s Preston Southan was well aware the opportunity at his feet.
And when Southan sent the ball in to Ben Pigg, Pigg was ready and directed the ball into the net to lift
the Patriots to a 2-1 Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Chesapeake Division boys soccer win over the visiting Patuxent Panthers.
“It’s something we’ve been working on, on the training ground,” Southan said. “We get it wide and it’s my job to beat the guy and serve it in. It’s happened before, I’ve played him in. I knew he would be there and just picked my spot.”
Pigg, who scored both Northern goals in the game, had visualized how the play was going to unfold.
“I kind of knew after the one right before that when he put a ball in, I kind of knew that the second one [the defense] was most likely going to let come through,” Pigg said. “I just took my opportunity and finished it.”
The win was the third straight for Northern (4-1, 1-0 SMAC Chesapeake), while Patuxent (4-1, 1-1 pending Wednesday night’s game against Westlake) had its fourgame win streak snapped.
“It was a battle,” Northern head coach John Rossi said. “It was a good old-fashioned rivalry. I think Patuxent played extremely well. They’re well-coached and a tough team. I’m proud of our
guys, too. We battled through some injuries and some cramps. It was just the next guy up stepped up and we finally got the job done. I’m really proud that they persevered.”
Pigg had opened the scoring with his first goal less than three minutes into Tuesday afternoon’s game, but whether due to strong goalkeeper play or shots that did not find the mark, that stood as the only goal until past the midway point of the second half.
With less than 18 minutes to play, Patuxent’s Nate Kistler redirected a pass from Griffin Gray into the net to knot the score, ultimately sending the game to overtime.
In the final two minutes
of regulation, the Panthers appeared to have a tremendous opportunity when a ball slipped past Northern goalkeeper Nick White, but Bryce Leslie cleared the ball out of danger to preserve the tie. Once in overtime, the Patriots brought the game to a quick end on Pigg’s goal just less than three minutes into the extra session.
Heartbreaking end though it was for Patuxent, which after Wednesday night’s game against Westlake will see its next action at home against Great Mills at 6 p.m. Monday, head coach Paul Gray was full of positive feelings in the moments after the game ended.
“I have nothing bad to say about my team. That
was one of the best SMAC games I’ve been a part of,” Gray said. “I’m friends with a lot of the coaches at Northern because we work together, and we made Calvert County proud tonight. That was as good a quality soccer game as you’re going to see anywhere.
“You have to give credit to Ben. He was hurt, got banged up quite a bit and came through and pulled it out. I can’t say enough about my goalie, Jacob [Goedeke]. He kept us in it. He saved four or five breakaways. Griffin had that beautiful assist to Nate Kistler, who’s a defender. I’m proud that they get it. We lost, but don’t hang your heads.”
Northern will attempt to win its fourth straight in its scheduled game at Chopticon at 6 tonight. With only a nonconference loss to Severna Park marring the Patriots’ record through five games, Rossi was pleased with what his team has shown thus far.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I think we have a few areas to improve on, but all in all the questions we’ve had about their toughness and overcoming adversity they’ve answered. I’m just really proud of the guys and the effort they’ve put in.”
Southan added: “We’ve had some sickness and had some injuries, but it’s all gone now and we’re back in full swing. We’re really looking forward to these next few games.”
Northern’s Josh Hall, center, and Ben Pigg celebrate Pigg’s goal just minutes into the Patriots’ game with the visiting Patuxent Panthers on Tuesday afternoon. Pigg later scored the game-winner in overtime in Northern’s 2-1 win.