MAIZE — The Newton High School boys’ soccer team was moments away from a win over the Maize Eagles when the unthinkable happened.
A Maize corner kick was batted around in front of the Railer goal by both teams until Hunter Clark was able put the ball in the net. The center official ruled the goal was good and there was still a second remaining.
The goal sent the game in overtime. Newton senior Edward Valdivia missed three open chances high over the crossbar in overtime, but on the fourth time connected on a pass from Bruno Duran to hand the Railers a 2-1 win.
“I got a good ball from Bru,” Valdivia said. “I was able to finish it. The other shots, I don’t know what happened. My head wasn’t in the game. I was feeling frustrated out there. It was hard (in overtime). We thought we had the win. We were tired. I was just happy we scored. You’re trying to play with energy and you want to win, but it’s hard.”
“We have to use this game as a learning experience on how to finish a game,” Newton coach Scott Jantzi said. “I told the guys to keep the ball in the corner. We were trying to get another goal and we gave possession back. They were able to create a set piece with a corner and were able to knock it in. I’m still happy with the result. I wish we could have done it in regulation.”
Newton held a 14-4 advantage in total shots. Hervey Medina had three saves in goal for the Railers. Kaleb Wessley had 11 saves for the Eagles.
“We had our heads down, but we came out started putting pressure on Maize,” Jantzi said. “I was proud of the way we came back out there and fought back.”
Newton downs Maize for the second time this season, winning 3-2 in the consolation semifinals of the Titan Classic.
“It’s always nice to get a win against Maize,” Jantzi said. “They are always a quality squad.”
Newton took the lead in the 46th minute on a 18-yard shot by Brayden Cornejo, who settled a pass from Andy Deckert and made a run to set up the shot.
After Newton scored, the Railer defense turned away a pair of Maize rushes forward. The Railers then generated several strong shots, including a pair by Jose Rojas and a post shot by Gregor Hofmann.
Maize knocked a shot that was deflected off the post for a corner kick with about nine minutes remaining. Newton was able to clear out the corner kick.
Medina knocked away a 20-yard direct kick in the 75th minute.
Posession was about even in the first half. Newton had two scoring chances on a shot and a rebounded shot, both saved. Maize had its sole shot from the top of the penalty box with about 12 minutes left in the half.
Newton outshot Maize 3-1 in the first half.
Newton improves to 7-5, 2-2 in AV-CTL I play. The Railers host Salina Central at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fischer Field. Newton downed Central 1-0 in the consolation finals of the Titan Classic. Central is 9-3.
“We need to use this momentum against Salina Central,” Jantzi said. “We have them on our field, so there will be limited space. We need to defend them well. We need to make sure we have our heads on right. Yes, we did beat them, but this is a different team. They only have three losses. It’s a good, quality squad.”
“They are going to come out after us,” Valdivia said. “We are going to have to play harder than we did the first time. All of the seniors realize these will be the last games we will be playing together and we want to win them.”
JUNIOR VARSITY — The Newton junior varsity downed Maize 3-0. Greg Lettau, Xander Valdivia and Santíago Fernandez each scored a goal for Newton. Michael Velasquez, Fernandez and Lettau each had an assist.
Newton hosts Salina Central at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
1. N Brayden Cornejo (Andy Deckert) 45:01
2. M Hunter Clark (unassited) 79:59
3. N Edward Valdivia (Bruno Duran) 87:32
Total shots — New. 3-10-(1-0)—14, Mai. 1-3-(0-x)—4. Shots on goal — New. 3-9-(1-x)—13, Mai. 1-2-(0-)—3. Saves — New.: Hervey Medina (W) 1-2-(0-x)—3. Mai.: Kaleb Wessley (L) 3-8-(0-x)—11. Corner kicks — New. 1, Mai. 3. Fouls — New. 8, Mai. 7. Offside — New. 0, Mai. 0. Cautions — Mai.: Will Thompson 47:55. New.: Alex Sanchez 74:26.