Mount Carmel’s Jaime Reyes nets an overtime gem to lift the Cougars to the MIAA C Conference crown

by Gary Adornato

Jaime Reyes’ shot in overtime produced the Golden Goal and the MIAA C Conference championship for Mount Carmel.

It’s a shot Jaime Reyes has been working on with his friends and in Sunday’s MIAA C Conference soccer championship game, at Anne Arundel County Community College, he was looking for a spot to unleash it.

With his Mount Carmel Cougars locked in a scoreless tie with Glenelg County, in overtime, Reyes found the perfect spot to unleash a rocket-propelled right-footed blast that traveled 25 yards before exploding into he top right corner of the goal, with just 1:03 to play in the first overtime. The Golden Goal lifted the Cougars to the 1-0 overtime victory and their first MIAA soccer title since 2000

“I did it Thursday against Indian Creek,” said Reyes of his winning shot. “I have been practicing it with my friends out in the field and it worked; it worked. We worked really hard for this and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Before Reyes connected the game appeared as if it would reach a second overtime and possibly a PK shootout. Although both teams knocked the ball around at a largely even clip, scoring chances were at a premium. Reyes changed all that when a ball, played into the box was sent bounding in his direction. He stepped into the shot and buried it in the right upper 90.

The first half was mostly even with Mount Carmel (16-2) owning a slight edge in possession and opportunities. The Cougars top scorer throughout the season, junior Aaron Hernanadez, worked hard to create chances, but more often than not, the speedy but diminutive Hernandez was pushed off the ball by the Dragons large back line. As the game progressed, the Dragons began to assert themselves and, in the second half, created their share of opportunities.

In the third minute of the second half GCS’ Peter Karabatis got off a hard shot from the right wing which was saved. Senior Park Holbrook had a quality shot in the game’s 49th minute and, with 15 minutes left in regulation, freshman Cole Fisher got his foot on a long throw in, but drove his shot over the goal.

Mount Carmel third-year head coach Mark Concordia, a graduate of the school and a soccer alum, was thrilled with the outcome.

“It was a great game of soccer. They beat us, 1-0, in the regular season and we planned to eliminate what they are good at, and that’s the counter attack,” said Concordia. “The goal came down to just who wanted it more and that’s what we were preaching in overtime and at half time; who wants it more.”

Glenelg Country also lost in last year’s C Conference title game, but bounced back to win the Black Division this year and finished at 13-3.

“There is nothing that can replicate the feeling of that ball going in the net at a moment like that,” added Condordia. “As an alumni, not winning a championship of my own, this is huge. I like to think I am talking for all of the alumni who have not won in the last 17 years; it means a lot.”