But that’s what happened Tuesday night at Alton G. Brooks Stadium and the second-seeded Lumberton Pirates must live with the result.
“It’s a tough way to end the game,” longtime Lumberton coach Kenny Simmons said. “I’m kind of at a loss for words.”
With the score tied less than a minute away from a shootout, Lumberton’s Bradley Burnette fouled a forward in the box setting up Kyle Warfel’s successful penalty kick — his third goal of the contest — as South View held on to beat Lumberton, 4-3.
“There was no explanation (for the penalty), just a foul in the box,” Simmons said. “I really feel for my guys. Tough ballgame.”
The Pirates (12-10-1) took a 3-2 lead midway through the first overtime on Ryan Musselwhite’s bender but couldn’t hold the lead as South View’s Ross Jewell answered with a header at the other end 52 seconds later. Lumberton forced overtime with 5:52 left in regulation Austin Musselwhite found the back of the net off a feed from Burnette.
The teams battled through sub 50-degree temperatures and 20 mph gusts throughout overtime before Warfel’s soft boot just beyond the outstretched arms of Lumberton keeper Pablo Lozano ended the game. Simmons went with Lozano in the extra session after fellow sophomore keeper Thomas Bailey gave up two goals in the second half.
Bailey was sidelined three weeks during the regular season with concussion-like symptoms after suffering a laceration to his face in an earlier game. Lozano was called up from the junior varsity to replace the incumbent starter and played well in his role according to Simmons.
“We’ve split time with both of them since Thomas has been back,” Simmons said. “They’re two quality keepers.”
Johnson’s nifty score
Colby Johnson gingerly picked himself off the turf in the 15th minute after being clotheslined by a teammate. He wasn’t in pain, just out of breath in celebration of a breakaway goal that broke a scoreless deadlock for the game’s first tally.
For much of the Pirates’ 4A first round playoff game, it seemed Johnson’s goal would be enough. South View had several cracks at the net in the opening half but Lozano gobbled up five saves.
Lumberton never could get that second score for breathing room, however, instead relying on an aggressive defense that harassed the Tigers and resulted in a brief skirmish that led to double red cards in the 59th minute.
Lumberton ends the season, though premature, with confidence for 2013 after a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference.
“We’ve got a great group of guys and I hate to see it end this way for them,” Simmons said. “We would’ve liked to advance past the first round … but that’s the way soccer is sometimes. It can come down to a few plays that decide the outcome of the game.”