The Varsity Boys Soccer team went into their first region game of the season with a #9 ranking in 5A (first time being ranked as a top 10 team in over 20+ season) and they went down to the wire to defeat Grady 3-2.
The first half of the game saw North Springs strike first. Adrian Gonzalez fed a pass down the left side to Simon Ben-Moshe who made an inside move and fired a shot between two defenders and an outstretched Knight keeper as the ball went into the far lower right corner of the goal to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead with 31:43 left in the half.
Play seesawed back and forth until late in the half when North Springs was called for a foul. Grady received a free kick from 30 yards out. #18 of Grady lined up his shot and sent a high ball just over Charlie Jose’s stretching finger tips and just under the top of the cross bar to tie the game at one apiece with 10:43 to play in the half.
The 2nd half saw the Spartan improve their game and was controlling the pace and play. With 11:52 remaining Ryan Kaplin made a quick throw in to a fast thinking Zach Lyons who did a quick flick on a header pass the Grady keeper to put the Spartans up 2-1.
Things were looking good for North Springs but about 10 minutes later a foul was called on the Spartans giving the Knights a free kick from 20 yard out directly in front of the goal. It was #18 again for the Knight who connected with the back of the net again to tie the game with 2:01 left in regulation play.
The game ended 2-2 and both teams were headed to a 15 minute OT period. The 15 minutes would be played to completion. North Springs totally controlled play and had several golden chances to take the lead but just could not find the connection to finish off the Knights. So now the score still remained 2-2 as both team went to PK’s.
This is where the excitement got intense. Vincente Marron from North Springs was first to go. He was on target and NS lead 1-0
The Grady Knights turn saw 2 players to take kicks. First was #2. Charlie Jose diving left made the save but the line judge called him on a movement validation giving Grady a 2nd shot which was good.
The next Grady player #8 stepped up and Charlie Jose AGAIN promply blocked the shot but AGAIN the line judge called a foul that Charlie again moved early. The lead referee at this point questioned the line judge on the calls. A conference was held between the two but the calls stood. North Springs coaches asked what their keeper was doing incorrect but was just told he jumped early. #8 made his 2nd chance.
This did not deter the Spartans, as the next two North Springs players, Simon Ben-Moshe and Andrew Wright stepped up and drilled their shots pass the Grady keeper to take a 3-2 lead.
Grady now got two chances to take the lead and still get the last kick if needed in PK’s. #18 wasted no time and put his shot by Charlie but no foul was called this time. Score 3-3
Grady’s 4th player #10 came up for his attempt. The shot was to Charlie’s left but Charlie dove to his right but during his dive his back foot hit the ball and defected it out of the goal for the save. Score now stands at 4-3 in favor of North Springs.
North Springs had one kick left to secure the region win. The kicker was Jerry Nazario. If Jerry makes the kick than North Springs wins the PK’s 5-3. Jerry calmly approached the spot and sends his shot to the left of the keeper as the North Springs players went WILD and CRAZY.
North Springs had just beaten Grady for the 3rd year in a row, won their first region game of the season and moved their record to 6-0-1.
Final official score: North Springs – 3 Grady – 2