The Miami Trace Panthers boys soccer team earned its first SCOL victory of the season in a most exciting way over Clinton-Massie Thursday.
The game was knotted, 1-1 at the half.
The game remained tied until the Falcons broke the deadlock with a goal at the 4:39 mark of the second half.
The Panthers scored to tie the game with 1:45 to play.
After a handball was called on the Massie goal-keeper, Blake Pittser set up for the direct kick with precious few seconds remaining.
Pittser struck the ball and it sailed over the defenders, bending in a slight arc over the keepers’ reach for the goal to make it 3-2 Panthers with just 8.7 seconds to play.
Massie made a push down-field, but Pittser intervened, sending the ball over the visitors bleachers and into the adjoining soybean field as time expired.
Pittser got the scoring underway at the 31:50 mark of the first half on an unassisted goal.
With 16:16 to play until the half, the Falcons converted a penalty kick. The game remained tied at the half.
The action was back and forth in the second half.
Finally, with 4:39 to play in the game, Massie made a breakthrough with a goal to take a 2-1 lead.
With 1:45 to play, August Langley scored on a corner kick by Brett Lewis, the assist to Pittser.
Following the handball call against Massie’s keeper, Pittser set up and drove in the game-winning goal, quickly turning what would have been a tie into a victory.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Pittser said. “When we went down 2-1, I was looking at the guys, looking in their eyes, saying, ‘we can still do this. We can still win.’
“There was about 20 seconds left and I was running up there,” Pittser said. “I got this little message from above telling me I’m going to make this. There was a lot of help from above. I appreciate that.”
Miami Trace out-shot Clinton-Massie, 25-12.
Tim Kinzler had nine saves for the Panthers.
Miami Trace had eight corner kicks to four for the Falcons.
“It was a dominate performance by our guys,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “We had the ball, offensively, twice as long as they did. We just couldn’t score.
“When they took the 2-1 lead, that’s when we woke up,” Thoroman said. “It feels good to get our first league win.”
Miami Trace is now 2-4-0 overall, 1-3-0 in the SCOL.
The Panthers are back in action at Washington High School on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to take on the Blue Lions. Washington fell 6-1 at McClain Thursday night.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1