Jimmy Hoover knew his Northwestern boys' soccer team could have beat Salisbury in regulation.
But for the fourth time this season and third time in league play, the senior forward and his Tiger teammates needed to walk back onto the field to battle for a victory in overtime.
After losing to Notre Dame of Green Pond in OT last week, Hoover refused to let another chance at a victory get away from him.
Hoover's game-winning goal in overtime gave the Tigers to a 2-1 Colonial League victory over Salisbury, handing the Falcons' their first league loss of the season.
"I think we should have had that in regulation, but we played really strong and really dominated in overtime," Hoover said. "It just felt great finally to put that one in and pull out another win."
"I just had to stay composed as I was taking it towards the goalie and not miss because I missed one in another overtime game this season and I needed to pull through for the team as the captain."
After teammates Curtis Cappuccino, Isaiah Danner, Austin Marich and Hoover missed out on opportunities to win the game in the first overtime, Hoover redeemed himself in the second overtime session thanks to a perfect feed from senior defender Marich. Marich won a battle near midfield with a Falcon player and got the ball to Hoover..
"That's what we look for we look to win the balls defensively in the midfield and look to play it to Jimmy or my other forwards," said Northwestern coach Fernando Carrizo said. We know Jimmy and the other forwards can put it away.
"He's so good at placing the ball. But, we have to get it to his feet. When we do, good things happen."
Good things did happen as Marich got it down field right in front of Hoover, who beat two Falcon defenders and goalie Chad Heidecker to score his eighth goal of the season and second game-winner in overtime. Hoover also had an OT game-winner on September 11 in a 1-0 win over Fleetwood.
Northwestern moves to 5-3-1 overall; 4-2-1 in the CL; and 3-0-1 in overtime games. Meanwhile, Salisbury slips to 5-1-1 in league play.
"It's a great win," said Carrizo. "We fell short against Palisades and we knew we were the better team. It has been really hard for us since we have played really well. And, I think the more we play the more I think we're getting better. We still have some young guys and we're still transitioning.
"To play overtime, it's not what I expect out of these players because it's a long season and with the short period of time it's tough. To get the win though, it shows they're all staying focused and that's good. But, I would rather win it in regulation."
Sophomore Isaiah Danner gave Northwestern a 1-0 lead in the opening half, but the Falcons' Nick Hoats spoiled a potential shutout for the Tigers' keeper Talon Williams with 28:10 left in the second half.