Rajesh Bennett scored the winning goal for SoBoCo with 12:20 left in the second overtime period and the Eagles won their eighth consecutive district championship with a 2-1 victory over Father Tolton on Wednesday night.
The home crowd roared as Bennett, who collected a pass from Rece Gilmore, quickly turned on his defender and lifted the ball into the net at the far post from 15-yards out.
The two teams were even throughout most of the match, however, the Trailblazers took the momentum with four minutes left in regulation when they scored the tying goal off of a corner kick. The Trailblazers then had the Eagles on their heels defensively much of the two overtime periods, with SoBoCo goalkeeper Nick Grabner making a pair of saves and defenders Derek Gilmore and Chris Bonderer booting potential scoring opportunities away from the Eagles goal.
“We were tired and they did a great job of taking the momentum and pushing up on offense,” said Eagles coach Chris Miller. “Rajesh would have passed that ball to a teammate a week ago. We’ve been telling him to take that shot and this time he did. It was the kind of play he can make and we’re fortunate he took the shot.”
After a scoreless first half, Southern Boone got the game’s first goal with 20:25 left as Gilmore fired a hard shot from 15-yards away. The ball was blocked by the Tolton goalie, however, Brett Brookshire took the rebound and slammed home the goal without hesitation. The canon-like shot from Gilmore and the brilliant rebound shot from Brookshire gave the Eagles the score they thought would win the game, however, Tolton took advantage of an Eagles defensive miscue, gained a corner kick and tied the game sending it to overtime.
The Eagles will host the Sectional soccer game next Tuesday, time to be announced. SoBoCo will face the winner of Oak Grove and Clinton.
The Eagles will face Oak Grove on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Ashland. Tickets are $7 for students and adults.