Dimitri Tsapalas scored in the first minute of overtime to propel Eastern Tech past Towson High, 3-2, on Wednesday afternoon.
The junior midfielder converted a feed from senior back Ryan Wagner, the hero of the match, whose clutch goal with 2:10 remaining in regulation sent the game into extra time.
"Frankly, I pulled Ryan out of the game earlier beacuse he wasn't getting the job done defensively," Eastern Tech coach Peter Glaudemans said. "But he made the most of a big moment for us. He didn't do it for himself; he did it for the team."
When it looked as if the Generals (0-1), helmed for the 25th year by Randy Dase at his alma mater, were about to secure an unlikely victory, Wagner stepped into a left-footer from 16 yards that skidded under a diving save attempt by Towson junior keeper Will Huckenpoehler for the equalizer.
"Towson was really agressive and physical," Wagner said, noting he enjoys that style, too. "I like to work hard."
Truth be told, after taking a 1-0 advantage in the third minute on a goal by senior forward Kelton Lynch, the Generals were on their heels against a relentless attack by the Mavericks, who dominated in shots (19-9) and corners (5-1).
Eastern Tech pressed forward for most of the first half, although it escaped falling further behind when junior Ben Glaudemans cleared a would-be goal with a header after senior goalie Charlie Kulakowski made a save 10 yards from the goal line.
The Mavericks finally drew even when junior midfielder Russell Carter pinballed a shot to the far post in the 36th minute.
It was worse after the intermission for the Generals, who played in their defensive third for most of the second half.
Even so, Towson came within a couple of minutes of what Dase termed "highway robbery" after Loyola Blakefield transfer Eric Dorsey put the Generals ahead, 2-1, with 11:19 remaining in the match.
"In my 25 years of coaching, I don't ever remember being dominated for a 30-minute stretch like that," Dase said. "And then we got that throw in the box and scored. We almost pulled it off."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun