With 15:24 remaining in Thursday afternoon's boys' soccer match-up between St. Marys and Ridgway, the Elkers had just secured a two-goal advantage and looked set to pick up a victory over the Flying Dutchmen. However, St. Marys was able to regain their momentum and rally to tie the game by scoring a pair of goals within a span of just over three minutes and then seal the victory during the first overtime period.
"It was definitely a show today," said St. Marys coach Russ Micale. "It seems like the past couple games like that that have been nailbiters, it seems like we've come out on the wrong end of them. But today the guys buckled down and we were on the right end of it. I'm very impressed and very proud of them for coming back. There in the last quarter of the game, it looked kind of hopeless for us, down two goals. We weren't getting any breaks. Nothing was happening for us. We kept chipping away and tied the game up and were able to come back in overtime, so great effort by these guys."
Ridgway coach John Ogden agreed that the match was fun to watch.
"I thought this was a huge improvement for the Elkers. The last two years we came in here we lost 8-1, and to have them 4-2 with nine minutes left, it shows that we're a young team. We're not quite there yet, but we're getting there. I think that builds well for the rest of the season because now they know they can compete against the better teams in the area," said Ogden.
The teams traded the lead during the first half.
St. Marys took an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Tim Mosebarger with 32:55 on the clock in the first half. However, Ridgway tied the game at 1-all with 25:46 remaining on a goal by Kyle Jacobs, and then took a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later when Tad Pierce scored with 23:58 to play in the half. Matt Hoffman headed in a shot with 5:23 left to play to send the game into the half tied at 2-all.
During the first half St. Marys outshot Ridgway 12-7 and the Elkers had one corner kick.
The Elkers picked up the momentum in the second half and scored two more goals roughly 10 minutes apart to take a 4-2 lead. Pierce was the first to put the ball in the net in the second half, setting up a shot that rolled past St. Marys keeper Brett Lanzel with 25:13 remaining. Jacobs added his second goal of the match at the 15:42 mark as he put a nice shot past Lanzel to pad the Elkers' lead.
The teams battled back and forth with the ball until just under the 10-minute mark, when the momentum suddenly shifted in favor of the Dutchmen. Hoffman started things off by scoring off a corner kick with 8:50 left to cut the Elkers' lead to 4-3. Jarrod Lipsey tied the game up at 4-all after he slipped the ball past Ridgway keeper Jesse Schneider with 5:37 left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
In the second half, St. Marys outshot Ridgway 14-9 and the Dutchmen also had five corner kicks.
Both teams fought hard in the overtime period; however, St. Marys' Michael Fox was able to get a shot past Schneider with 6:15 remaining to give the Dutchmen the 5-4 victory.
St. Marys outshot Ridgway 3-1 during the overtime period.
The Dutchmen are now 6-4 and will travel to Smethport on Saturday for a 12 p.m. match.
Ridgway is now 4-7 and will travel to Kane on Monday for a 4 p.m. match.