Soccer drama: Catholic rallies to beat Williamstown 3-2 in OT

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. – With a 2-0 lead over Parkersburg Catholic Thursday, the Williamstown boys soccer team was just 13 minutes and 46 seconds away from winning a sectional championship.

Unfortunately for the Yellowjackets, that was just enough time for the Crusaders to the tie the game up and send it to a 10-minute sudden death, where they eventually won 3-2 on a Peter Keiser goal.

“They just don’t ever quit,” Crusaders head coach Shane Hartshorn said of his squad. “They’ve got a lot of heart. A big senior class, that makes a big deal.

“The intensity from Williamstown was very unbelievable. I knew coming into the game they were gonna be intense.”

On a chilly, wet night, 2:14 remained in the overtime period when Keiser handled the ball in the right corner of the field. He made a nice move to shake a Williamstown defender and was able to put just enough on a kick to get it past a diving Ian Hostottle to give Catholic the walk-off win.

“For Catholic, this is the first time they’ve ever been in the sectional final, and it’s the first time they’ve ever won it,” Hartshorn said.

It was a disappointing end for the Yellowjackets, but first-year head coach Telma Poole was proud of her team’s effort and is excited about the future.

“I think we did awesome,” Poole said. “I’m not mad, just sad.

“We played just two seniors on the field with seven freshmen. I think in a year or two, we’re gonna have some fun.”

Down 2-0 and facing elimination, the Crusaders needed a goal in the worst way. Brady Kurucz delivered just that at 13:46 mark to cut the deficit to 2-1, which Hartshorn said gave his team a much-needed lift.

“After that first goal, I think they kind of knew they were gonna come back and tie the game,” Hartshorn said.

“All of a sudden, something sparked. They just picked it up and started winning every ball.”

Even with the momentum swinging their way, the Crusaders were having trouble breaking through the Williamstown defense in the final minutes.

It looked like time would run out on Catholic until Brian Shin got open with 1:29 to go. Shin’s first shot attempt was blocked by Hostottle, but Shin gathered the deflection and booted a second shot, this time out of Hostottle’s reach, to tie the game up at 2-all.

Neither team could score in the final minute-and-a-half, setting up the sudden death scenario.

The Crusaders had 12 shot attempts to five for the Yellowjackets. Hostottle had five saves for the ‘Jackets while Catholic keeper Tully Lynch-Pastoor had two saves.

Williamstown’s Dakota Hammer put the first dent in the scoreboard with a goal at the 17:17 mark in the first half. Alex Webb assisted on the play.

Hammer would give the ‘Jackets a 2-0 lead nine minutes into the second half, this time on an unassisted score. From there, the Crusaders’ defense was nails.

Parkersburg Catholic improved to 18-6 with the win and will now advance to the next round of postseason play.

Williamstown’s season comes to a close at 6-11-1.

“We played with our hearts,” Poole said. “We played 100 percent. We did wonderfully this season.”