By Ted Waddell
FALLSBURG September 21, 2007 The No. 1 Rule of Soccer: Don’t let your team score a goal for the opposition.
But in Wednesday afternoon’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) soccer game between the home team Fallsburg Comets and the Sullivan West Bulldogs, that’s exactly what happened.
During a wild play in the goal box at 11:39 of the second half with the area swarming with black-shirted Bulldogs trying to clear the ball, it bounced off someone’s head and SW (1-6, 0-2 Division IV) scored a goal for the Comets in their own net.
The goal proved to be the difference in the match as Fallsburg recorded a 2-1 victory.
Ulises Pacheco scored off an assist from Randy Gilmore at 34:21 in the first half to give Fallsburg a 1-0 lead.
Then came that quirk of fate which put the Comets up 2-0.
At 34:58 in the second half, the Bulldogs surged back to life with a goal by Eric Minton off an assist from Kevin Correa.
Time ran out, and Fallsburg (4-1, 1-0 Division IV) registered a one-goal win.
Fallsburg enjoyed the advantage in shots on goal (23-14) and corner kicks (5-2).
Fallsburg goalkeeper Colin Whitaker made seven saves. For SW, Logan Grishaber had 10 saves and Lucas Bauer had three.
“The team has now set a new stepping stone, they hustled and they improved,” SW Coach Debbie Owen said.
“They were able to contain Billy Miller and Randy Gilmore,” Owen said of the Comets’ main scoring threats, a couple seniors who play midfield and striker, respectively.
Her reaction to the fluke goal, that in hindsight may have been the turning point of the match?
“The goal was full of black jerseys, and there wasn’t a white shirt in the goal,” Owen said.
Her take on the last ditch effort to stem the tide?
“Unfortunately the game wasn’t long enough, and by the time we started to get that surge with a goal, we just didn’t have any long legs that were left,” Owen replied.
Fallsburg Coach Darren Kenney said that Whitaker didn’t have a lot of chances to show off his defensive skills in the cage, “but he came off his line pretty good and he played a nice game in there.”
“It wasn’t our best effort,” Kenney said. “Earlier in the season we were scoring more goals and our defense was solid.
“Once they got that goal, it became a tight game in the end and they put that pressure on us,” Kenney added. “After they got it into the back of the net, they got the momentum, pulled their goalie and put him in the front line. It gave them a spark, so we had to hold them off at the end.”