Prep boys' soccer: East, Bountiful battle to 2-2 draw
Landen Carlsen put his hands on his head, along with dozens of other East Leopard fans.
Carlsen and his red-clad supporters both thought the wavy-haired senior had scored the golden goal to beat Bountiful, but it clanked off the crossbar and into the Salt Lake sunset Tuesday.
Time ran out in the second extra period, and the game ended in a 2-2 draw for the Region 6 rivals.
Both Carlsen and his coach, Rudy Schenk, were left wondering what could have been after the Leopards allowed the Braves to score two second-half goals to even the score after East took a 2-0 lead into the half.
"It was like a game of three different periods," Schenk said. "First half we played well. In the second half, they came at us and we panicked. I thought in the overtime we played well, but it's all about finishing, not hitting the cross bar."
East jumped out to the two-goal lead thanks to a strike from Abdi Iftin that came seconds after Carlsen had a penalty kick saved by Bountiful's Josh Ludlow.
Mauricio Santana gave East some insurance with a fluky goal from midfield minutes later. It bounced twice and Ludlow misjudged it, and it soared over his head into the net.
But that insurance wasn't enough.
The Braves scored twice in an eight-minute span in the second half to tie their Class 4A foes. David Higginson started it with a chip from just outside the box, and Carson Tinker crushed one from the left side into the net minutes later.
"It was frustrating, but we worked hard," Carlsen said. "It was upsetting it didn't click for us at the end."
In addition to Carlsen's strike off the bar, East's Anel Mukic also hit the crossbar in the first extra period off a free kick from 40 yards out.
"It's disappointing we gave up [the lead], but I'm happy we came back and didn't lose it," Carlsen said.