didnt care. They had just played 105 minutes of soocer and upset the No. 1
team in GISA.
They were holding the state championship trophy high in the air as the
rain came down from above. They were tired. They were wet. Im sure the
rain felt good.
As tired as they were, the Crusaders had reserved energy to celebrate
after getting the 2-1 victory in three overtimes. They had just stood toe-to-
toe with Pinecrest Academy in one of the best high school soccer games Ive
The first half didnt resemble a Trinity soccer game in that the Padalins
kept the ball near Trinitys goal for just about the entire 40 minutes. They had
several attempts that just missed the goal.
The other attempts were stopped by Trinity sophomore goalie Adam
Ross. What an incredible job he did in the game. If there was an MVP to be
handed out, I would have given it to Ross.
With the score tied at 0-0, neither team looked worried. The Padalins had
created many scoring opportunities and the Crusaders, who only had a
handful of attempts on goal, were still in the game.
The second half looked a lot like the first. The clock quickly ticked down
with Ross defending each and every Padalin attempt. Then Pinecrests Michael
Briemie was able to get a ball past Ross with 12:03 left in the game.
Despite being down 1-0, Trinity head coach Aaron George looked calm
while the Padalins coach urged his team to hold on for 12 minutes. For them,
the clock was probably ticking by too slow. Trinity probably felt the clock was
going by too fast.
With six minutes left in the game, it seemed like Trinity had tied the
game when Leif Troelenberg got the ball past their goalie. As Trinity and its
fans started to celebrate, the referees waved off the goal. Trinity was
The clock kept running and the next thing I knew, there was only three,
then two, minutes left in the game. With seconds running out on its season,
Trinity brought everyone foward and attacked the goal.
What happened next was hard to say. I saw a lot of blue shirts around
the Padalins goalie and then the ball went by him. Thirty-eight seconds were
left in the game, and Trinity had just tied it at 1-1.
The announcers gave the goal to Eli Green but he later told me he didnt
kick it. George didnt care. The game was tied and momentum had just swung
over to the Crusaders.
Through two 10-minute overtime periods, neither team scored. It
seemed like the same was going to happen in the third overtime. And thats
where the game looked like it was going to be heading. But Trinity saved its
best offensive push for the final seconds.
With time quickly running out, the Crusaders attacked the goal. The ball
was deflected by the Padalins goalie and I saw Jon Luke Cannada run to it
and drill it toward the goal and past the keeper.
Pinecrest dropped to the ground as the rain began to increase and the
Crusaders celebrated. Those last seven seconds werent enough for Pinecrest
to tie it up. The rain continued to fall as the buzzer went off and Trinitys fans
ran onto the field.
It was a great game. For the Padalins, it wasnt the way they wanted the
season to end. For the Crusaders, it was a dream come true.
And the rain didnt bother them a bit. They werent going to let the rain
ruin their day.