By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Head Coach Jamie Swanson walked out of the locker room, looked toward me, turned back and yelled, “Carter, Colby, the press wants to talk to you two.” He …
By Bruce Karnick
Head Coach Jamie Swanson walked out of the locker room, looked toward me, turned back and yelled, “Carter, Colby, the press wants to talk to you two.”
He then walked up, said “I have one quote for you Bruce, I’m damn proud of these boys today,” and he walked away, mic drop style.
That is not Swanson’s normal style, but it was understandable after the game that just occurred on Todd Field in front of a good home crowd that included the majority of the Varsity Football team. The Raiders jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first half when Colby Donnelly scored.
“There was a cross, like for the middle and then one of my teammates chested it through. The goalie came out and I just slid it under the goalie.” Donnelly explained.
Later in the half, Donnelly extended the Raider lead with another cross, this time, over the keeper who managed to tip it, but Donnelly was in the right spot to put it to the back of the net.
“Coach, Bernie likes to call it the most dangerous lead in soccer. But it did feel good man. I mean, we were up two to zero. We kind of let our guard down the last five minutes a half. But we ended up coming back thanks to Kolb’s,” Added Keeper Carter Homb Tartan cut the lead in half to put the pressure on the Raiders heading toward the second half and with under a minute remaining in the first half, they tied the game 2-2. The second half saw a lot of back and forth between the teams, but Tartan had more than double the shots on goal compared to the Raiders. There were a few scoring chances for both teams, but the keepers came up big.
What was going through Homb’s mind with the game tied? “You know, it’s a lot of pressure, man. I mean, one mistake and the game swings in their favor, but um, you know, like, anticipations high and you know, your minds focused. You can’t, like I said earlier, you can’t make one mistake or else you know, that could be the game.”
With under two minutes to play in the first overtime period, the Raiders had a free kick from the 40, Donnelly explains. “We had a game plan for the goalie, and it was he comes out of is his net a lot. And we had that game plan before the game even started and I knew because I kicked one before that and he like barely tipped it over. And so, I was like, Alright, I’m gonna do it again, and this one just happened to fall in.”
It did go in just over the keeper’s head and that gave the Raiders the 3-2 lead. It also caused the student section filled with football players to erupt. Donnelly sprinted to the stands and contemplated the Todd Field Leap but realized that might hurt, so instead he stood on the bench to celebrate with the fans. The problem with soccer is, overtime is not always sudden death, so he was yellow carded for excessive celebration.
The worst part of the game was having to play out the remaining six minutes of overtime. Tartan became super aggressive making several additional shots on goal. Homb stymied them shot after shot.
Donnelly jumped in to praise Homb, “at the end we did get a little scary and like out of mind to just swingin’ and swingin’ just trying to get the ball out. And he, he really just saved save our a… saved our butts. Yeah. But you know, he came up clutch for us and that really helped us calm down a little bit.”
Editorial note, nice save yourself Colby and thanks for the laugh.
The Raiders survived the flurry of shots in the last few minutes of OT and earned their first win of the season. The next three games for Hastings are at home; South St. Paul comes to town Thursday, September 16 at 5:00 p.m., St Paul Harding on Saturday, September 18 at 2:00 p.m. and Simley Tuesday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 23, they travel to Hill Murray for a 7:00 p.m. start.
Heroes of the game: Colby Donnelly (L) earned the hat-trick, scoring all three Raider goals and Carter Homb (R) was a brick wall from the start of the second half on to give the Raiders the win. Photo by Bruce Karnick