Playing a man down for the final 10 minutes, 38 seconds of regulation and throughout both overtime periods, Concordia Prep never wavered in it’s MIAA C Conference Soccer Championship battle with top-seeded Glenelg Country School, Sunday at Anne Arundel Community College. The tenacity ultimately produced a Golden Goal with just 2:55 remaining in the second overtime, allowing the Saints to a hoist the league championship plaque to the heavens.
Sophomore Andrew Schnaack scored the game-winner, on a feed from freshman Taylor Calhaira, striking a one-timer inside the right post after Calhaira tapped a pass back towards the 18.
When asked what he saw as the winning goal developed, Schnaack said, “Oh my. I saw stars. Oh my goodness. I am so thankful.”
Schnaak then expanded on the score and it’s meaning to his team.
“Basically, I came down, Taylor came across, it fell right to me and I placed it in. That’s it,” said Schnaack. “It shows how big our hearts are. The work we put in this season for that plaque, all for that goal. I can’t put it in to words. Everyone is just so happy. We finally brought one home.”
Both regulation goals came in the first half and Glenelg Country struck first.
In the 31st minute, Peter Karabatis made a run into the right side of the box for the Dragons and was fouled during a tackle by Prep’s Carlos Ventura. GCS was awarded a penalty kick, which senior Aiden Wisely struck into the lower right corner of the goal.
Concordia got the equalizer with 7 minutes, 49 seconds to play in the opening half off a set piece. Calhaira did the honors, from 25 yards out, striking a missile inside the right post that was slightly deflected off the back of a Glenelg Country defender.
In his third year as the head coach with the Saints, Adauto Noto has seen his program steadily improve each season.
“This is the main idea, to try and rebuild the program, from when I got there three years ago,” said Noto. “Our philosophy is to try to do better every year and we have improved throughout each of the last three years. And our goal, again this year, was to get in the playoffs, and once we got here, we knew we just had to work hard to try and achieve our ultimate goal. We were able to conquer that today.”
Noto, whose program has applied to move up to the MIAA B Conference next fall, said his team has begun to build confidence, carrying it through difficult situations.
“Even though we had a man down, we played like we had a man up,” said Noto. “We are very proud of them. We told them to believe, to keep fighting for each other on the field and give everything that they had. At the end, it paid off with a very successful (win). Now, we will be able to celebrate this year.”
Glenelg Country coach Ryan Hellem was equally proud of his team’s efforts.
“They left it all out on the field,” said Hellem, whose team fell to Indian Creek in last year’s title game. “This group of seniors, who have really carried our program, from its infancy and kind of built it to where we’ve been in the championship the last two years, unfortunately, not having come away with what we wanted. Sometimes you win some and lose some in this game.”
MIAA C CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
(at Anne Arundel Community College)
CONCORDIA PREP 2, GLENELG COUNTRY 1, 2 OT
CP 1 0 – 0 1 — 2
GC 1 0 – 0 0 — 1
GOALS: CP-Schnaack, Calheira; GC-Wisely.
SAVES: CP-Gregory 3; GC-Kitchen 5.