St. Charles boys soccer loses overtime thriller
Allen scores game-winner for Chopticon Braves
Under the lights at St. Charles High School, a thrilling Southern Maryland Athletic Conference boys soccer game between the Spartans and the visiting Chopticon Braves captivated and enthralled fans in attendance from both schools.
St. Charles fans were eager to see its team secure its first win of the season and cheered loudly from the beginning until the bitter end when Chopticon’s Blaine Allen netted the game-winning goal to secure a 3-2 win for the Braves.
“I am very proud of my boys for not completely losing composure, staying on the field, playing hard and ending up finishing the game with a win,” Chopticon head coach Ray Dixon said.
The first half was not dominated by any one team in particular for a lengthy period of time. Both teams generated numerous chances and corner kicks that pressured both goalkeepers to make some saves to keep the game scoreless.
After ferocious attacking play from the Spartans, the home faithful roared loudly when Spencer Hooker found the back of the net on a loose ball that may have sailed wide has his foot not redirected the kick into the back of the net for the early 1-0 advantage.
“I personally feel like my team came out really flat. St. Charles was able to get up on top early, and that seemed to
have woke my team up. They kept bringing the pressure,” Dixon said. “I feel like we dominated some of the game, they dominated some of the game and they just kept bringing the pressure.”
Chopticon (4-3-1 overall after a 7-0 win over Thomas Stone on Monday night) responded after its flat start and early deficit with an attack that generated a penalty kick opportunity after a St. Charles defender was given a yellow card in the box.
With roughly four minutes
to play in the first half, Xander Goldsborough scored on the penalty kick into the bottom left corner of the goal to even up the score heading into the half.
Jakob Garland was the Braves goalkeeper in the first half, but helped out his team in a different way in the second half.
With Nick Potter starting as Chopticon’s goalie for the second half, Garland was able to join his team in the attack on offense.
Garland’s presence was felt roughly 10 minutes into the second half when he rocketed a shot past St. Charles goalkeeper Rupert Stephens to break the tie and give the Braves a 2-1 lead.
“It was a good ball in the box, and a poor play by their defense. I just jumped on my opportunity to score,” Garland said.
The Spartans (0-7) did not go away quietly though despite their deficit on the scoreboard and winless record.
With approximately 15 minutes remaining, the Spartans tied the score at 2 when Mateo Vasquez found the back of the net.
Overtime was needed to decide the back-and-forth affair as the teams were even after regulation.
Chopticon was able to sustain most of the attacking play once overtime began and were rewarded when Allen scored the
game-winning goal about five minutes into the extra period.
“It was a solid game on both sides, we both fought hard,” Potter said after finishing the game with five saves.
Dixon was proud of his team and the fact they were able to overcome their slow start and secure the victor y.
“I am very happy with them for getting the win. I am disappointed in the start, but I was happy with the win,” Dixon said.
Chopticon was scheduled to play host to Northern on Tuesday and slated to be back in action at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Leonardtown.
Despite the loss, Spartans
head coach Matt Chisholm is pleased his team is improving.
“We still don’t want to lose, but we saw improvement and are moving in the right direction. The goal by the end of the season is to be playing your best soccer,” Chisholm said.
Junior Khairy Jones echoed the feelings of Chisholm that the team has improved.
“So far the season hasn’t been too great, but I can tell we are improving a whole lot. The end of the season we will be much more successful than the beginning,” Jones said.
St. Charles is scheduled to be back in action at 6 p.m. Friday at Thomas Stone.
St. Charles huddles up before the second half begins against the Chopticon Braves. The Spartans would fall 3-2 in overtime.