Glenelg Country’s Jay Shin picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season.
Tied at 1-1 in the first overtime period against St. John’s Catholic Prep on Thursday in the MIAA C Conference semifinals, the Dragons’ senior forward tracked down a rebound in the box and calmly finished into the back of the net to lift his team into the championship game for a second straight year.
“I don’t remember the scene very well, I just saw Parker (Holbrook) shooting the ball and I knew their goalie was going to save it because (he) was pretty good. But I knew the goalie was not going to get the ball, so it was just my instinct that led me there,” said Shin, who was mobbed by his teammates following the golden goal. “That was it, that was my first goal of this season. It’s just crazy.”
Glenelg Country coach Ryan Hellem said that for a player like Shin, who has put in a ton of work without any tangible results in the scoring department this fall, it was an incredible moment.
“It’s pretty awesome and he’s worked so hard for the three years he’s been here. And we give him a hard time because he’s got the talent but just hasn’t been able to finish in practice or in games,” Hellem said. “So to finally see someone, who has put in all that time and work, get an opportunity like that and then capitalize on it in a meaningful moment … it’s really special.”
Glenelg Country (10-1-2) advances to face Concordia Prep, a 3-0 winner over Pallotti in the other semifinal on Thursday, for the C Conference championship on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Anne Arundel Community College.
The semifinal game for the Dragons against St. John’s was one filled with plenty of near misses during regulation. Glenelg Country had the better of the run of play for the first 60 minutes, but had nothing to show for it.
St. John’s goalie Noah Austin (6 saves) and his defense in front of him made big play after big play to keep the game scoreless.
But finally, with 14:51 left in regulation, Glenelg Country was able to get on the end of one.
On a play that started with Shin on the left wing, the ball ended up finding the foot of Aidan Wisely, who fired a hard shot that forced Austin to make a diving save. The rebound, however, rolled to Jacob Schiller on the far post and he finished into the net to make it 1-0.
“Honestly, the whole game, I felt pretty confident that we were going to score at some point. It was just a matter of continuing to do what we were doing throughout the game and just staying with our system,” Hellem said. “You get enough quality chances, eventually the guys are going to put one away.”
St. John’s kept battling, though, and ended up getting the equalizer just over five minutes after falling behind. On a long ball played into the box that was flicked over the head of Dragons’ goalie Tyler Kitchen, Jafaniah Thang ended up tracking it down and converting the goal to tie the game up, 1-1.
“Obviously, when they scored, you could see the air was just let out of us. But we have a great group of seniors that lead us and were able to pick the guys back up,” Hellem said.
The game stayed tied through the end of regulation and that set the stage for Shin’s heroics.
Looking ahead, Glenelg Country now gets a shot at redemption for a 1-0 loss against Indian Creek in the MIAA C title game a year ago. During the regular season, Glenelg Country defeated Concordia Prep, 4-3.
“I think these guys are determined to not let what happened last year be the way they go out,” Hellem said. “Regardless of what happens, this senior group has been what has helped build this program to this point and they deserve so much credit. And who knows what will happen Sunday, but I do know these guys are going to leave it all on the field. They’ve worked extremely hard to get back to this point.”