5A boys' soccer: Fremont stuns Taylorsville in overtime
Taylorsville • Austin Freeman couldn't free himself from a razzing during practice in Plain City on Thursday afternoon. The freshman defender was taking shots on goal in the final preparation for Friday's 5A boys' soccer quarterfinal matchup at Taylorsville, and the Fremont Silver Wolves were playfully teasing their teammate for the way he strikes the ball.
All it took was a few seconds of brilliance to eradicate anything resembling a razz forever.
Fremont's 17th-minute goal by Parker Preator was suddenly flipped completely on its back after the Silver Wolves conceded two-stoppage time goals. With less than 30 seconds remaining on the center official's watch, Freeman's moment came in the eighth minute of stoppage time. Pressed forward in the attack in search of an equalizer, the freshman felt pressure on his right, so he touched the ball over a defender, circled around and uncorked. The 25-yard strike rose high into the air, destined for the top shelf of the far post.
"Now they know why I shoot it like that," said a grinning Freeman.
The shot that won't soon be forgotten hit the back of the net. The shot that won't soon be forgotten forced overtime, and with two minutes left in the first extra time, senior Gunner Burrell won it for Fremont, inching the Silver Wolves by the Warriors 3-2 to advance to Tuesday's 5A semifinal.
Both Fremont and Taylorsville created several chances in the first half, and more chances came as the second half progressed.
But when Taylorsville's Jaden Brewer equalized very early in stoppage time, the match changed. The Warriors, the Region 2 champions, kept pushing for another on their home field.
It came when Carlos Lopez volleyed in a shot through traffic and in to give Taylorsville a 2-1 lead with a minute remaining. Fremont coach Fred Smith was suddenly faced with reality. His program's season flashed before his eyes. Practice wouldn't need to be organized Monday after graduation, while the end-of-the-season banquet would.
"Then to have Austin take that karate kick," said Smith, "to see it dip down like that was incredible. That's something that came into my mind: He takes that shot a thousand times more, it's not going in. It's just one of those things."
Said Freeman: "I knew that I had to hit it to the back post. If not, I don't know what would have happened."
Burrell wouldn't have been given the opportunity to win it with his golden goal set up by winger Connan Wallace in the dying minutes of the first overtime session. Wallace fired off a shot that was pushed away by Taylorsville goalkeeper Kellar Sirtsins. But Burrell was right there.
"I just hacked it in," Burrell said.
Prior to keeping hopes of starring inside Rio Tinto Stadium alive, Smith told Burrell that Friday would be a day that the senior scored an important playoff goal. Fremont's coach was clairvoyant in that aspect, but didn't expect Freeman's wondrous strike.
"It was a one-in-a-million shot," Smith said.
One that won't soon be forgotten, a shot that kept the Silver Wolves' pursuit of a state crown alive.
Fremont 3, Taylorsville 2 (OT)
R Fremont freshman defender Austin Freeman scores a 25-yard volley with less than 30 seconds remaining to tie the match 2-2 and send it into overtime.
• Fremont senior Gunner Burrell wins it for the Silver Wolves when he scores the game-winner with two minutes remaining in the first overtime period.
• Parker Preator gives Fremont a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute, but Taylorsville's Jaden Brewer ties it in stoppage time and Carlos Lopez eventually scores to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead with a minute remaining in regulation.
• Riverton 2, Alta 0
• Viewmont 2, Copper Hills 1
• Fremont 3, Taylorsville 2 (OT)
• Layton 4, Hunter 2
At Woods Cross High School
• Riverton vs. Viewmont, 4:15 p.m.
• Fremont vs. Layton, 6:30 p.m.
At Rio Tinto Stadium
• Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.