2A boys' soccer: Waterford wins title on dramatic golden goal
Sandy • One of his best memories will be frozen in time. In fact, Jesse Sindelar's moment will always have a specific time to reminisce on: 3:19.
That's when the Waterford defender delivered his team and school a boys' soccer state championship. With 3 minutes and 19 seconds left in the first overtime of Saturday afternoon's Class 2A title tilt with Rowland Hall, Sindelar made the clock at Rio Tinto Stadium stop cold.
The junior was in search of his favorite spot on corner kicks, floating somewhere near the back post, waiting for Cale Lopez to whip in a cross in the golden-goal scenario in the match's first overtime. Sindelar found the ball, and the ball found the net.
"I was just hoping that if it comes there, I'm going to get it," Sindelar said. "It came right to me. I didn't even think about it. I just headed it right in."
Over. Waterford 2, Rowland Hall 1. The Ravens were crowned as the state's 2A champions for the first time since 2011. Head coach George Shirley had to hide from the impending dousing of the water cooler. But it was inevitable. His players dropped its contents on top of him and his players engulfed him as he sat drenched on the field.
"I've never been around a group of kids that have worked this hard, this long; there's never any animosity in our team everybody gets along, they play together, they play for each other, and it paid off today in a big way," he said.
The Ravens had to earn it.
When sophomore forward Sean Keough gave Waterford a lead in the 13th minute, easily finishing a quickly played ball from the midfield behind the Rowland Hall defense, the Ravens were in business. But as the match wore on, the Winged Lions grew more comfortable and started controlling much of the possession. Rowland Hall started to take chances after several missed chances in and around the box, the match was equalized with less than six minutes left in the second half.
Senior Enzo Wiener one-timed a shot off a cross that Waterford's goalkeeper couldn't handle and it slipped into the net. The Winged Lions owned the momentum and the final five minutes of regulation before the two rivals prepared for overtime.
"We were all down at that point," said Waterford junior Jack Wilburn, "but I thought we could definitely come back from that."
The Ravens bounced back in golden fashion. Playing evenly for six minutes and 40 seconds of the first overtime, the two sides went their separate ways when Sindelar found his spot on the back post, and directed the ball into the back of the net.
"We practice that all the time," Wilburn said. "I had no worries that Jesse would just put that in. I saw all the runs going perfectly and then Jesse was there. It was just perfect."
R Waterford's Jesse Sindelar gives the Ravens the 2A crown with golden-goal header in the first overtime, sealing a 2-1 win over Rowland Hall.
• Rowland Hall's Enzo Wiener ties the match with less than six minutes remaining in regulation.
• Waterford forward Sean Keough opens the match with a goal in the 13th minute.