The Exeter Monarchs score the game-winning goal on penalty kick rebound in the final four minutes of their game against the Selma Bears
EXETER – Rafael Quintero-Zurita took a penalty kick 76 minutes into the game and rebounded it off the goalie’s hands to score the game-winning goal.
After trading points back and forth the entire game, the Exeter Monarchs and the Selma Bears were tied 2-2 when the Exeter senior was awarded a penalty kick after being fouled inside Selma’s goal box. He scored on the rebound from the kick and the Monarchs held on for the remaining four minutes, beating Selma 3-2 on Jan. 31.
“At the end I kept telling them to finish, finish, finish, go after it,” Exeter JV coach Brad Thompson said. “Go get the next one, focus on the play and that’s what they did.”
Thompson stepped in to coach the team after varsity head coach Pete Renteria was given a red card at the end of the Monarchs’ last game and was not allowed to attend the game against Selma. After coaching the JV team through their game, Thompson immediately switched gears to coach and encourage the varsity team in place of their head coach.
After the Bears tied the game at two at the 63 minute mark, both teams were scrambling for another goal to avoid going to overtime. Both teams had opportunities, but the goalies for both sides were making save after save. Then, with only four minutes on the clock, Quintero-Zurita was awarded a penalty shot after being fouled inside Selma’s goal box.
Quintero-Zurita lined up against Selma’s goalie and stepped back to take the shot. Groans came from the Exeter stands as the ball hit the goalie’s outstretched hands and was knocked to the side. But Quintero-Zurita had anticipated the save and ran forward for the rebound, turning the groans into cheers as he sent it over the goalie into the net.
“That last goal, that winning goal, was just us fighting for that ball and not giving up,” Thompson said.
The game did not start off strong in the Monarchs’ favor. Just 13 seconds into the game, Selma scored. Edward Alvarado got in a good shot on Exeter’s net quickly off the kickoff and the Monarchs’ goalie seemed caught off guard. It set a good tone for the Bears, but the Monarchs refused to let the early goal get their spirits down.
The Monarchs tied the score up at the 23 minute mark. Sophomore Irwin German-Lara got the Monarchs on the board and back in the game. Exactly 40 minutes of game time later, freshman Jesus Astorga Lara scored an easy goal after the Selma goalie failed to hang onto a loose ball. The Monarchs were up 2-1 for only five minutes before Alvarado scored again for Selma and tied the game.
“We’re plagued with our own mistakes and teams are capitalizing on that,” Selma head coach Ruben Zamora said.
The Monarchs were plagued with penalty calls against them towards the end of the game, allowing the Bears several place kicks throughout the second half. During one of those calls, Lara was given a yellow card and subbed out of the game for a few minutes. After he returned to the field, he was eventually awarded a red card, taking him out of the game for the final few minutes. He will also not be allowed to play in Exeter’s next game against Immanuel.
“We’re learning to play the next play, let it go and walk away,” Thompson said. “It’s a process. He’s a freshman and he’s going to learn. He’s going to grow from it. It’s a good learning opportunity.”