Falcons reach section final after two overtimes | TheUnion.com

Falcons reach section final after two overtimes

Eileen JoyceForest Lake Senior Co-Captain Kyle Smith takes a direct kick after a penalty Thursday.
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Dane Johnson catapulted the Forest Lake Christian boys soccer team into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title game with one swift kick Thursday.

The senior midfielder scored off a Kory Kraning pass early in the second overtime period to lift the host Falcons to a 1-0 semifinal win over Central Catholic (Modesto).

FLC, which won its second straight Central Valley Christian League crown this season, was on attack with eight minutes left in the second 10-minute overtime period when Johnson saw his chance.

Kraning’s cross glanced off a Central Catholic defender, then dropped about seven yards out, near-post side when Johnson pounced.

“I saw the ball in a pile of people and ran through the hole. The sweeper came out on me, so I cut (the ball). Then the goalie came out and I saw that little, tiny space. I just said to myself, ‘Just don’t choke and hit too hard,’ because I had blown a couple of those earlier in the season. I just kept in on the ground and it went in,” Johnson said.

FLC – winners of back-to-back section D-IV championships in 1997-98 – face the winner of the Le Grand/Woodland Christian match at the University of the Pacific in Stockton noon Saturday.

“Ever since I’ve been little, I’ve seen the older guys go (to the section title game), but I never thought I’d ever have a chance to go,” Falcon forward and leading scorer Kyle Smith said. “It’s kinda unreal, (but) it’s going to happen.”

Falcon goalltender Joe Martin tallied 11 saves – including stopping a first half penalty kick – to record his 13th shutout this season.

“He was amazing. He stopped that PK, then three sure goals I can remember and half a dozen other hard shots. Central Catholic has some awesome forwards and he just shut them down,” Smith added.

FLC head coach Thad Kopec said he knew his Falcons were focused in warmups.

“They were there stretching and there wasn’t a sound. Normally when we play a weaker team, they’re giggling, laughing and acting stupid, but today I think they knew how serious this game was,” he said. “And when it comes down to serious game, they really excel.”

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