Soccer: Forest Lake Christian Falcons fly into semifinals after OT win over Cristo Rey
As the sun began to set on the Forest Lake Christian soccer field Thursday, the Falcons and the Cristo Rey Saints battled into the darkness for the right to continue their season.
After 80 minutes of regulation, the teams were knotted 0-0 and it was on to overtime.
Just 7 minutes into the extra period, Forest Lake Christian’s Daniel Marriot sent a low corner kick soaring toward a pack of players huddled in front of the Cristo Rey goal. FLC sophomore Brett Soria broke from the mass, leaped into the air and booted the ball into the net, giving the Falcons a 1-0 edge in overtime.
“It was a low kick and the defender wasn’t really on me, he was to my side,” said Soria. “I broke out in front and I was able to hit the ball on target.”
The No. 4 seeded Falcons would hold off No. 5 Cristo Rey’s attacks for the next 13 minutes to win, 1-0, and advance to the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin D-VII playoffs.
“We got heart,” FLC head coach Steve Koch said after the game. “Our guys don’t stop.”
The Falcons had spent much of the game withstanding the Saints attack as Cristo Rey was the aggressor, especially in the first half. The Saints put pressure on the Falcons defense early with 10 first half shots.
Stepping up big for FLC was senior goalie Noah Husain, who made eight saves in the first half and finished with 10 in the game.
“I can only thank my defense,” Husain said. “Every single game they are first to that ball, always fighting for the ball and every save I make is because of them, and I thank them for that.”
Hussain made two critical diving saves in the first half that held the surging Saints at bay.
“Noah this year has been progressing, getting better and better and he’s gaining confidence and you can just see it in him,” Koch said. “He made two great great saves on excellent shots. We were getting pushed around in the first half. Cristo Rey, they are tough, always good, good skilled guys and it was fortunate our defense played so well.”
Playing solid defense for the Falcons was Garrett Reader, Garrett Jones, Blake John and Drew Seitz. The back line for FLC held firm throughout the game, shutting out a Cristo Rey team that averaged more than three goals a game this season.
Forest Lake Christian’s offense turned it on in the second half, and started to put the pressure on Cristo Rey’s defense.
“The second half we really came to life,” said Soria. “The 50-50 balls, we were winning them. We were the aggressor.”
FLC seniors Kyle Soria and Scott Gauthier along with Marriot and freshmen Shawn Hagerty were all able to get shots off in the second half, but the Saints athletic goalie thwarted them at every turn. That is until overtime when Brett Soria was able to tally the game winner.
The victory moves FLC into the semifinals where they will face the No. 1 seed Ripon Christian, who beat Victory Christian 3-0 in the first round.
“We need to come out with the same intensity that we did today,” said Husain. “Have the same intensity and score some goals.”
The Falcons will travel to Ripon Christian Wednesday for the semifinal matchup. The winner of that game advances to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII championship game.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
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