Josh Briones scored the game-winning goal in overtime, and the Trinity Baptist College Eagles defeated the NCAA Division 2’s Shorter University Hawks 4-3 in the Eagles’ 2017 home opener.
On a very wet field that made footing difficult due to heavy rain earlier, Briones ended the game by taking a pass from Jean Hillaire and popped it into the net with 2:09 remaining in the 10-minute extra period. Players on both teams had trouble holding their footing and maintaining control of the ball, and Briones took advantage of an opening with a slick shot while on the slide.
Shorter jumped out to an early lead in Minute 9 when Mattia Pace scored on a sliding shot of his own, hitting just inside the left post for the game’s first goal. Five minutes later, Justin Macias extended the Hawks’ lead to 2-0 on a slap shot from well outside the penalty box; he also placed it perfectly just inside the left post.
Trinity came back a little later in the first half. In Minute 12, Jean Hillarie put the Eagles on the board with a tap in from just in front of the net after receiving a long pass from Youlormans Hillaire. Briones then tied the score midway through the first half. He took a free direct-kick pass from near midfield from Zane Downey and headed it into the net.
After several minutes of light sprinkles, the skies opened, and the rain started to pour down with approximately six minutes remaining in the half. The teams traded goals within those final minutes. Clayton McDaniel put the Eagles ahead by one, and Shorter’s Dian Momanyi tied it again at 3-3 just before the halftime whistle.
Lightning struck nearby just moments into the second half, forcing a stop in play. After more than an hour’s delay, the two teams played a scoreless second half on a soaked and slippery field to force the overtime period.
Eagles goalkeeper Kyle Aultman saved 5 of 8 shots on goal from the Hawks, who had 14 total shots. Trinity took 23 shots overall, eight on goal. Briones and Juan Grimaldo led all players with five shot attempts each. Sean Carpenter had four saves for Shorter.
The Eagles will play their next three games at home versus Webber University on September 5, South Region opponent Toccoa Falls College on September 15, and Warner University on September 16. All three games will begin at 4:00 p.m. EDT. The four games that follow between September 19 and 30 are all on the road.
–Raymond Bureau, TBC Athletics