Cavs rally in final seconds but 54-match streak ends
Erick Penaloza scored, driving a low 25-yard shot skipping by the Terry Sanford goalkeeper, with 0:55 remaining in regulation, to provide what proved to be the tying goal as Southern Lee drew 2-2 with visiting Terry Sanford in a match atop the Cape Fear Valley Conference soccer standings Wednesday night.
Terry Sanford, with a 28-yard strike on a free kick by Ben Rogers, with his blast banging off the right post and into the goal, scored to take its first lead of the match 0:37 before the Cavaliers tied the match at the other end.
Both sides entered the night with perfect CFVC marks. Both left still undefeated. The Bulldogs (8-1-1, 4-0-1), new to the conference from being a 4A program, ended the Cavaliers’ (7-0-2, 3-0-1) four-plus season streak of 54 straight CFVC victories.
In a wild ending to an 80 minutes which saw controversial goals and Terry Sanford’s Rogers receive his second yellow at the end of regulation time, but the Bulldogs continue 11 vs. 11 in the overtime period, both sides had chances for a go-ahead goal in the extra 20 minutes.
Southern Lee goalkeeper Jeremy Hoover came up with the last two of his 10 saves on the night, denying Kristopher McMurray’s 18-yard strike from the top of the box with a leaping one-handed save over the crossbar in the 87th minute, then stopping a one-on-one chance against Bulldog forward Charles Jones from the right side of the penalty box in the second 10-minute part of overtime.
Southern Lee dictated a good portion of possession early and began creating chances, mainly through a steady number of crosses into the Bulldog box.
In the 27th minute, Misa Piedra gathered a partially-cleared ball about 40 yards from the Bulldog goal and chipped the ball back to the box. Jair Cejudo shielded his marker, brought the ball down while turning and nailing a right-footed shot into the far side-netting for a 1-0 Cavalier lead.
The lead was save, even while Hoover became the busier keeper in the second half, until the 61st minute when the Bulldogs tied the match on a goal which was whistled offsides, then reversed to allow the goal.
Aaron Robinson got to a cross in the middle of the Cavalier box and his shot hit the post, bounded off Hoover, then fell to McMurrray to hit into the unguarded goal. The initial offsides flag was versus Robinson, but after discussion, waved off.
Terry Sanford momentarily thought it had the lead five minutes later, but this time an offsides foul stood off a long free kick played into the mouth of the Cavalier goal.
The Bulldogs wound up with an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal in the second half and a 2-1 edge in overtime.
Isaias Cruz, early in overtime, had the best Cavalier chance of the extra time, putting a good drive on goal on a 15-yard half-volley which Bulldog keeper Adam Robinson stopped.
Robinson finished with three saves. Hoover finished with 10 saves and Cavalier midfielder Ethan Helsman had a save, volleying a Bulldog shot off the goal line in a wild play following a Bulldog corner kick in the eighth minute. Southern Lee outshot the Bulldogs 6-4 in overall shots, and it was 3-3 in shots on goal, in the first half.
Southern Lee faces its third match in four nights tonight hosting Northwood at 7 p.m. The Cavaliers will play at Lee County, for the first county rivalry meeting of the season, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.