Plum upends Gateway in second OT
The Gateway varsity boys soccer team was less than two minutes from a key Section 3-AAA victory at Plum last Saturday when the Mustangs got an equalizing goal to send the match into overtime.
At 5:29 of the second overtime, Plum put the game on ice, as Mustangs junior Stephen Hemmerle scored off a corner kick to send the Gators players and their fans home unhappy.
Gateway led 2-1 at halftime, and head coach Chris Duda felt his team had the better of play for most of the second half but just couldn't extend its lead.
“We played well, controlled the ball, but just couldn't get the right shots on net,” Duda said.
“But I am proud of the way the guys played, even though it was a loss.”
Plum senior Shane Rings scored his fifth goal of the season at the 26:03 mark of the first half to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Undaunted, Gateway responded with its first goal 2:25 later, as sophomore Christopher Conti scored off an assist from fellow sophomore Sam Seroky.
It appeared as if the teams would head to halftime tied, but the Gators made a push in the waning seconds of the first 40 minutes and punched one in.
Sophomore Jared Jenkins tallied the go-ahead goal with 19 seconds to go until the break on a rebound of a Plum goaltender save, and Seroky posted his second assist of the contest.
In the first overtime, Gateway had a couple of good scoring chances.
An indirect kick was turned away at the last second, and a Jenkins shot attempt sailed just wide of the right goal post.
The Gators entered the game looking to bounce back from two section losses earlier in the week — 2-0 to Allderdice on Sept. 18 and 6-0 at Fox Chapel last Thursday.
Gateway fell to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 6-0, on Sept. 13.
“It was a good game from both us and Plum,” Duda said. “We know we can compete in this section. The 6-0 losses don't show how well they can play.”
Gateway entered this week 2-4 in section, and the Gators are scheduled to play Penn Hills at Penn Hills' Linton Middle School on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The second half of the section slate was to have begun Tuesday at Woodland Hills.
The game was to be play- ed past the deadline for this week's edition.
“We can't let morale get down,” Duda said. “There is a lot of soccer left to play. We have to fight and have things happen to stay in the playoff hunt.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.