It looked more like a mosh pit than a soccer field on the final play of regulation between Marriotts Ridge and Reservoir on Monday night. The host Gators trailed 1-0 and with the clock in stoppage time, the sea of white jerseys — and the pink donned by goalie Andre Jobst — flooded the six-yard box for one last chance to even the score in a game that they controlled, if not dominated, at times.
Mustangs goalie Mark Antico batted away the original cross, and his second save was sent into the air and bounced off the top of the crossbar and back into the box. Johnny Tshibadi’s shot bounced around like a pinball until Sam Kim played the role of rock star and buried his right-footed shot from point-blank range into the goal to tie the game at 1-1.
The play lasted nearly 10 seconds, and with neither team able to score in either overtime session, it was the deciding goal in a 1-1 tie.
“I thought maybe we would get one on a set piece,” said Reservoir coach Jason Hall. “Sure enough, we got a corner, had everybody in the box, the goalie made two saves, it was off the top bar and somehow it fell to Sam’s feet and he knocked it in. It was great.”
It was the first tie for Reservoir (3-5-2 Howard County, 6-5-2 overall) since a 1-1 result with Atholton on Sept. 12 but it has been on the wrong side of overtime results against Oakland Mills, Centennial and Mt. Hebron — three of the top teams in Howard County. On Monday night, Hall said the Gators played their best game of the season and are heating up at the right time with the playoffs a little more than a week away.
“We possessed the ball the best we have all year, we moved the ball from side to side and we’re still having problems in the final third finding the goal, and with our top scorer Rudy Ventura going down early in the game, I was really concerned we were going to be able to find one,” he said.
Marriotts Ridge (6-3-1, 8-4-1) had its first tie of the season but was seconds away from picking up its third straight win. Chances were far and few between for most of the first half but senior midfielder Brady Trenchard scored in the final minute of the first half on a combination play with junior forward Willis Deitemeyer.
“It’s what we talk about everyday — getting up, playing to feet in the attacking third and in the 18[-yard box],” he said. “To have three give-and-goes like that — it’s a coach’s dream, that goal.”
Ultimately, the Mustangs couldn’t hold off the Gators, who seemed destined for a goal with how often they pressured on offense throughout. Marriotts Ridge bounced back from the deflating goal by dominating both overtime periods, but nothing managed to find the back of the net.
“We’ve had some ups and down but any team in the county is a good team,” Khouri said. “You come here to Reservoir and they’ve got a quality squad. You’re never unhappy getting a result on the road in this county.”