Kapaun soccer beats North 5-4 in wild finish
An unlikely handball in North’s penalty area during overtime seemed like the perfect ending to the North-Kapaun soccer game Thursday, as the Crusaders defeated the Redskins 5-4.
What seemed like a well-played match spiraled into an unexpected series of events with only seconds remaining in regulation time.
“I’ve been a part of soccer for an awful long time, and the way that game finished out, I’ve never seen anything like it before. There was a roller coaster ride of events,” North coach Curt Wullschleger said. “It’s almost poetic to end the game on a penalty kick like that. It’s crazy, this game was nuts, and I’m just happy and proud to be a part of it.”
Kapaun held a 4-3 lead over North as regulation time neared an end, but seconds before the clock expired, the assistant referee from Kapaun’s defending half raised his flag in awareness of goalkeeper Drew Edmiston carrying the ball slightly outside of the penalty box. This warranted an indirect free kick for North at the top of Kapaun’s penalty area, and the referee awarded North the kick and 14 seconds.
“The game was already over, and they came back and gave them a free kick. I’ve never seen that before,” Kapaun coach Alan Shepherd said.
North’s Andre Van Es touched the ball to make the play live, followed by Cobi Black’s strike. Edmiston stopped the shot, but North’s Guillermo Esquibel tapped in the rebound to tie the score at four with five seconds remaining.
The referee then awarded four red cards to North’s players, forcing the Redskins to finish regulation time and play overtime with only six field players and a goalkeeper.
“After the four red cards I knew that we had to regroup and that we were going to be playing for the tie,” Wullschleger said. “We rallied the boys together and said we were going to take the sting out of this game, we’re just going to drop back, defend, anything you win, high and wide, and that worked for 6:56.”
North held off a full-strength Kapaun team until 3:04 remaining in the overtime period when the ball made contact with a North defender’s hand, and the penalty kick was called. Kapaun’s Rhys Allen took the shot and tucked it into the right corner of the goal to give Kapaun the win.
“It’s bittersweet. I want to beat a full team, not a team that’s four less players than what they have. That’s not fair to the team, not fair to the game,” Shepherd said.
North originally took a lead in the first half when Jesus Fernandez passed to Juan Barron who tapped in a goal. But Kapaun retaliated with 11:31 remaining in the first half when Allen scored from a long shot outside of the penalty area. Only 2:04 later, Mitchell Sheets took advantage of a defensive breakdown from North to give the Crusaders a 2-1 lead at the half.
Black combined with Van Es for a far post goal with 15:25 remaining in the game for a 2-2 tie. But Sheets scored another for Kapaun only 40 seconds later, and combined with Allen for a fourth goal with 13:26 remaining in the game.
First half—North, Barron (Fernandez). Kapaun, Allen (unassisted), Sheets (unassisted). Second half—North, Van Es (Black), Van Es (Black), Esquibel (Black). Kapaun, Sheets (unassisted), Allen (Sheets). Overtime—Kapaun, Allen (penalty kick). Shots—North, 1-5-0—6; Kapaun, 6-7-2—15. Saves—North, Orona 4-5-1—10; Kapaun, Fulgham 0-2-0—2, Edminston 0-1-0—1.