By Colin Harris | Staff writer
As the clock ticked down to single digits in the season opener between Waterloo and Garfield, two flashes took place in rather short order.
Above the stands, there was a beautiful flash of lightning that lit up the sky. On the pitch, there was a beautiful flash goal that cost Waterloo and lifted the Garfield G-Men to a dramatic 2-1 victory.
With just 10 seconds left in regulation, Garfield's Noah Reider took a tip from teammate Ante Dejanovic near the sidelines and streaked down the field. With one move, Reider put foot on ball and beat an outstretched Colin Michalec to lift Garfield (1-0, 1-0 PTC County) to a win in its season debut.
"That's a scary way to win a jake," joked Garfield coach Mike Coney. "Ante just did a great job flicking the ball between two Waterloo defenders, and Noah ran after it and made a great shot."
Reider's dramatic goal was a difficult way to lose a game for a Waterloo team, which played remarkably well for nearly 80 minutes of play.
Coming off of a 1-10-5 season, the 2013 Vikings played Garfield for every ball and gave up little in the way of easy chances.
It was, in fact, Waterloo's inability to finish on scoring opportunities in the second half that could have rendered Reider's goal irrelevant.
On two opportunities, Waterloo found itself with a shot that staggered Garfield keeper Nick Crawford and left the ball loose near the goal line. On both occasions, however, there was not a Waterloo attacker in the vicinity to close out the scoring opportunity.
"We move the ball well now, and I think we're strong through the middle," Waterloo coach Steve Luchka said. "Now, we need to pick up the speed of our play and we need to finish.
"We're still young offensively and we didn't score many goals last year," Luchka said, of his team's inability to close out. "Give it a few more games, and I think we'll be much better."
Although the final score read 2-1, the G-Men actually were responsible for all three goals scored on the evening.
In the 15th minute, Waterloo's Keegan Moss fired a shot at Crawford which was deflected into a group of players around the net. The ball ricocheted off of a G-Men defender and found its way into the net for the game's first goal.
Garfield evened the game in the 35th minute when senior Travis Gorby scored on a free kick. It would later be Gorby who passed the ball to Dejanovic with seconds remaining that set up the game-winning Reider goal.
Crawford finished with four saves in net for the G-Men. His counterpart, Michalec stopped eight shots for the host Vikings.