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Warriors stun Tigers on Ben Goodman’s PK in overtime

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Marietta’s Landon Heiss (15) battles Warren’s Ayden Cornel (4) and Shane Gardner for the ball during a high school boys sectional final soccer match Thursday at Jerry Brock Field in Devola. Warren won, 4-3, in overtime.

DEVOLA — The third time proved to be the charm for the Warren boys soccer team of head coach Ekrem Eksi here on a warm Thursday evening at Jerry Brock Field against rival Marietta in a Division II Southeast District sectional final.

Junior Ben Goodman’s golden goal inside the right post just one second into the 82nd minute via a penalty kick beat Tiger keeper Caden Gebczyk and set off a wild celebration as Warren secured a 4-3 victory and now will move on to face Unioto at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“Just play our hardest and win,” Goodman said of the plan going into the match as the now 7-7-2 Warriors had previously lost 4-1 and 2-1 to the seventh-seeded Tigers. “I’ve gotten every PK this year. I’m four for four.”

When asked if he knew where he was going to place the ball Goodman said, “I just kind of kick it. It’s just amazing.”

Marietta, which finished its season at 10-4-3 for head man Todd Morris who lost co-captain David Sarver to injury in the opening five minutes, found the back of the net first.

Just 2:02 into the match, Tiger Dillon Meagle booted a corner kick into the box. After co-captain Adam Coil headed it, teammate Mac Threatt then headed it past Warren keeper Jackson Petty.

Petty, who made 10 saves, was able to go into halftime even at one when Kyle Mahoney scored on a boot via a Josh Yost corner.

The Warriors took their first lead in the 44th minute when Gavin Ott assisted on Caleb Burns’ tally, which was aided by a Goodman pass. Goodman got the ball to Ott down the Warrior sideline and then he sent a cross to the box that Burns finished.

However, a little more than a minute later disaster struck for Petty when he tried to haul in a free kick from Tiger Cayden Wheeler.

“I did,” Petty said of having the ball at first before the own goal. “Then I kind of bumped into someone and it came out of my hand and went right into the goal, unlucky.

“It was a struggle at first, but offense got it together and just happy to win and move on and looking forward to the next game.”

Goodman helped the visitors move back ahead 30 seconds into the 51st minute when his corner kick resulted in a goal by Ott, which was assisted by Yost.

Marietta refused to quit and the Tigers evened the match in the 62nd minute when Jacob Schafer headed one in via a Threatt assist.

Following a five minute break, the teams went into the first 15 minute overtime. Just 1:01 in, Burns was fouled in the box to set up the golden goal.

“Marietta, Warren games it doesn’t matter who is good or who is bad,” said Eksi, whose squad is seeded 10th. “It’s always a tough game. Tonight was a great, great game and I think everybody enjoyed it.

“Congratulations to both teams. It could’ve gone both ways. I’m really appreciative of my kids, but my hat to the other team, too. They worked really, really hard, both teams.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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