North­ern wins in OT

Pa­tri­ots boys over­come Pan­thers

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

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.

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