The Concordia Prep boys soccer team had one last bit of business to take care of before putting the 2019 season in the books — beat rival Friends.
To get that accomplished in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship game Sunday, senior star forward Taylor Calheira needed to dig deep.
After missing a penalty kick in the final minute of regulation that would have all but sealed a second straight championship, he collected himself and went back to work in overtime.
With 4:20 remaining in the first overtime, he won the left side and sent a cross to the far post for a streaking Paul Levenson, who buried the chance to send the Saints to a 2-1 win against the Quakers at CCBC-Essex.
The win avenges the only two losses this season for the Saints, who finished 18-2. Friends ended its season 14-7.
For Calheira, who scored the opening goal early in the second half, the championship win was a test of character.
“You’re going to have setbacks,” he said. “I got a PK and missed it, but you just got to keep your head up. We knew that we could do it. We lost to them twice in the regular season, but we knew we could win and we just didn’t give up the whole game and stayed focused.”
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After an evenly-played scoreless first half, Calheira made a strong run with the ball down the right side, shrugged off a defender along the way and slotted a shot from 14 yards that found the lower-left corner for a 1-0 lead with 35:48.
The Quakers found the equalizer with 11:25 to play, as Edward Forbush scored on a penalty kick after John Groff was tripped up in front of the goal. But the Saints made a push to end it in regulation.
Their chance came when Calheira was taken down in the penalty area while receiving a pass. Filled with adrenaline, he hurried his shot and sailed it over the crossbar.
Redemption soon followed for Calheira with the connection with Levenson, who hit the clean strike from 8 yards that was followed by a celebration.
It was a one-of-a-kind season for Concordia Prep with Calheira, headed to play at UMBC next fall, getting the chance to play with his younger brother, Ryan, a freshman, and their father, Adauto Neto, the team’s coach.