Down to the wire
Regulation time was not enough for the Charles Henderson soccer team and Gulf Shores High School in the opening match of the ASHAA 5A playoffs.
The two teams battled back in fourth throughout the entire game and then into extra minutes, but when it was all said and done, it was the Trojans who would be advancing into the second round with a 2-1 (4-2) win in penalty kicks.
The game was scoreless after the first half of play, however, it was Lloyd Shillabeer who changed that early in the second half to give the Trojans a 1-0 advantage.
The score would remain the same until the closing minutes when Gulf Shores’ Cliff Mcgonigale tied the game at 1-1.
After a goalless overtime, it came down to penalty kicks.
CHHS would not stay goal less for long.
After a missed opportunity by Gulf Shores, Douglas McClendon gave his team the advantage, sinking his shot.
Nick Mobley, Shillabeer and Mitchell Mobley would all do the same as CHHS went a perfect 4-0, defeating the Dolphins, who only made two of their kicks.
“You deserved this,” head coach Olaf Lieb told his team after the victory.
The win now sends the Trojans to the second round, where it will play St. Paul’s on Saturday.
“We held them off well pretty much the whole game, with the exception of their goal towards the end of regulation,” the coach said.
“I thought we did a job of blocking them out and controlling the ball – that was something I thought we had to do if we wanted to win this game.”
After the game, Shillabeer, who finished with two goals, said this was one of those games that he and his teammates did everything they could to win.
“We were really frustrated towards the end of the game,” Shillabeer said after the game. “They got a cheap one on us late, but we stayed determined to win this game.”
“Gulf Shores played a great game. Our chemistry and everything else that we have done this season came out tonight in this win. Gotta give all the credit to my coach and all the people that came out to support us (Tuesday night),” the senior added.
Even with the exciting victory, Lieb said while he was very proud of how his team performed, there is still work to be done if they want continue their playoff run.
“I thought everyone played excellent (On Tuesday night),” he said. “There are still areas where we have to improve. We aren’t going to sit back and relax. I wished we would have come out a little stronger in the first half and I think we need to work on creating more shots,” the coach added. “But this game was exciting all the way through.”