Tulare Western almost defeats Strathmore with overtime goal that was called back, settles for 2-2 tie
TULARE – It was a long, hard-fought, game last Tuesday for the Tulare Western boys soccer team. In a non-league match against Strathmore, a nail-biter second-half went to overtime and ultimately ended in the Mustang’s second 2-2 tie of the early season.
Tulare Western Mustangs faced off against the Strathmore Spartans at home on Dec. 7. The Mustangs, led by coach Michael Capote, have had their fair share of injuries already this season. Major players including their senior captain, Johnny Leal, were not able to join their team on the field. Nevertheless, this team managed to stay in control of the game and held the lead for the majority of it. That is until the near end of the game when Strathmore had a chance to tie it up.
As the 33-minute mark neared in the second half of a 2-1 game, it became clear that Strathmore needed to score soon. An aggressive Mustang defense kept the ball in Spartan territory for most of the game. Only having let up one goal off a fast break score at the end of the first half. With a second half of strong defense led by senior Ruben Magdaleno, it seemed that this game would end in a win for Tulare.
But despite that, a potential game-saving goal came when it mattered most near the end of the second half by freshman Abee Hernandez. With the game tied 2-2, both teams had to push for a final goal to seal the win. The last few minutes of the game saw many close shot attempts and great goalie play from either side. Each team was desperate to get a last-minute shot in and was pushing to try to get anything in before the game clock hit all zeroes. Unfortunately, neither team was able to get the game-winning score and they were forced into overtime.
Overtime started off with a strong Western defense kept the ball on the other side of the field and allowed few shot attempts. The issue was that the Mustang offense couldn’t get the ball in either.
There were a variety of shot opportunities but all were either inaccurate or blocked. That was until the end of the first half of overtime. With three minutes left Western seemed to finally score that go-ahead goal. Unfortunately, the celebration ended just as quickly as it began after an offsides call erased the would-be win. This wasn’t Western’s only chance though. Not being able to make the most of their scoring opportunities throughout the game was what led to this ending according to Capote.
Tulare Western attempted to add to their win column against Golden West on Tuesday, Dec. 14 after press time. Strathmore on the other hand made serious strides just after the 2-2 tie losing to McFarland, but notching wins against Shafter, North Bakersfield and Tehachapi last weekend. They’ll square off against Orosi this Thursday, Dec. 16 at home.