Overtime goal lifts Lehighton
Having a short memory.
It’s key in any sport, especially when something doesn’t go your way.
Often times, a missed shot, a dropped pass or even a controversial call from an official can frustrate a team to the point where it doesn’t play with the same mental toughness.
On Monday, against local rival Palmerton, the Lehighton boys soccer squad showed that it does indeed have a short memory.
The Tribe bounced back from multiple plays that didn’t go their way, coming away with a 2-1 dramatic victory in sudden death overtime.
Both the Indians and Blue Bombers would score a goal in the first half of play. Logan Lucas gave Lehighton a 1-0 lead halfway through the first and Palmerton, with just four minutes remaining in the period, knotted up the match with a Corlan Wood goal.
The second half was played to a stalemate, but not without some controversy. With 21:41 remaining, a Palmerton miscue set Lehighton up with a prime scoring opportunity. A kick back to the Bombers goalie from their defenseman was off target and looked like it was going to trickle into the Palmerton goal. The Bombers goalie had to dive after the ball, but illegally touched it with his hands, setting up an indirect kick for Lehighton.
On the indirect kick, the Indians Carter Strauss put the ball down, touched it with his foot and Lucas powered it into the net, seemingly giving Lehighton a 2-1 lead. But the goal was waived off, with the referee stating that the ball not only needs to be touched, but also needs to be moved in some way before a player can shoot at the goal on an indirect kick.
“The way the rule is stated, the ball just needs to be touched or played, it doesn’t need to move,” said Lehighton head coach Dave Yob. “I’m going to have to check on that, because that’s the way I always interpreted it. “But still, our kids fought hard, they didn’t give up. We have some tough kids out there, some kids playing hurt, and they showed their resiliency today. I’m very proud of their effort. It’s starting to come together for us.”
After the tough call, neither team was able to come up with a goal, and the game headed into an extra session.
The Indians — like they did all afternoon — were able to mount multiple offensive attacks in overtime. The Tribe (2-6) had success on crosses in this one, and it was fitting that a perfect cross into the box would give Lehighton the win. With 2:08 remaining, Lucas flew the ball in from the right side and found Strauss — who put a perfect strike on the ball with a header to claim victory for the Indians.
“Well I had a nice run down the left side, and I passed the ball to the middle in front of the goal, but unfortunately no one was there,” said Strauss. “But my teammate, Logan Lucas, worked really hard to catch up with the ball on the other side.
“It was a great pass in; I saw it all the way and I was hoping no Palmerton player got to it. I put my head on it and it went in. It was a great feeling.”
HELPING OUT ... Coming through with assists for Lehighton were Conner Hanley and Lucas. Hanley assisted on Lucas’ goal, while Lucas assisted on the game-winner to Strauss.
BOMBERS PRESSURE ... Palmerton was able to generate some pressure on the Lehighton defense, coming through with 20 shots on goal.