Late Analy goal stuns Trojans in boys soccer

By RICHARD J. MARCUS
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

It doesn’t get much more dramatic than scoring the winning goal on a header courtesy of a picture-perfect corner kick in the game’s final 20 seconds.

Such was the case on Tuesday night, as the visiting Analy boys’ soccer team pulled off the stunning 2-1 victory over Petaluma (9-4, 4-1) to win the SCL showdown between the previously unbeaten teams in league play. Analy (9-2, 4-0) moves into sole possession of first place in the SCL and Petaluma drops to second. The rematch will be at Analy on October 23.

(www.shutterstock.com)

(www.shutterstock.com)

Tied 1-1, Analy’s Ivan Galvan struck a beautiful lofting service off a corner kick, teammate Abel Hernandez found a space in traffic 10 yards out near the right post and deftly headed it past Petaluma goalie Julio Hernandez, who had little chance in stopping the sizzling shot.

“It was just a goal. I just saw my chance and I hit it in,” Abel Hernandez modestly said of his game-winner and first goal of the season. “I am mostly a playmaker, but to score to win the game feels great.”

Moments later the final whistle was blown and Petaluma found itself on the losing end of a game that it controlled for much of the first half.

“This loss is crushing, but the team will come back from this and learn from it,” Petaluma coach Greg Lamansky said.

“Analy’s guy beat our defender to the ball on the header. We lost our mark. Analy is big and really good in the air; that is their game.”

The Tigers took the lead in the 6th minute after being awarded a free kick 25 yards out due to a Petaluma pushing penalty. Galvan coolly struck a ball into the bottom left corner of the net for the early score.

Petaluma hit the equalizer in the 33rd minute as Dino Santia hit a one-timer from 15 yards out that bounded off the outstretched arm of Analy goalie Alex Coronel and into the net.

The Trojans dominated the final 20 minutes of the first half but couldn’t cash in several chances for a second goal.

“Petaluma played well. They won the midfield in the first half and it was even in the second half,” Analy coach Peter Meechan said. “It was a tough game. We made some adjustments at halftime. We switched our formation around a little bit.”

The second half was briskly played but, interestingly, neither team had a shot on goal the entire second half until Hernandez’s goal in the final seconds.

“This game was played in the middle of the field,” Lamansky said. “Both teams moved the ball.”

The contest seemed destined for two 10-minute overtime periods before Analy’s spectacular finish.

Meechan said of the game-winning goal: “It was a perfect entry kick (by Galvan) and the biggest goal of Abel’s Analy career. This was a pivotal game for us.”