Bermudian Springs’ center back Cameron Carrolus spent much of the match marking Littlestown star striker Josh Blose, but the Eagle senior found time to head in the game-winning goal with 4:48 to go in the second overtime to lift Berm to a 3-2 victory in YAIAA-3 boys soccer action Tuesday evening at Thunderbolt Stadium in Littlestown.
Carrolus’ winner came off of a direct kick from Tazaran Grifo, where Carrolus and a Bolt defender both jumped for the ball and it glanced off Carrolus’ noggin, redirecting past the dive of Littlestown keeper Christopher Meakin and into the left side of the net.
“It was a pretty rough start for us tonight and we had to battle back just to tie it in the second half,” Carrolus said. “Taz played a nice ball and we both jumped for it.”
Blose, who entered the match with 12 tallies in the Bolts’ first four matches of the campaign, did manage to score Littlestown’s first goal of the night, but a strong team effort, led by Carrolus, kept him two goals below his season average.
“It’s a fun challenge to try to take him on,” Carrolus said. “We’ve known each other personally for a long time and I definitely didn’t do this all by myself.”
Bermudian (2-2, 1-1) was coming off of a tough 2-1 loss to Gettysburg on Saturday and things were beginning to look bleak on Tuesday as the match moved towards the latter stages of the second half with the Eagles still trailing.
They were piling up chances, but Meakin was up to the challenge of keeping his side in front as he denied shots by Owen Hickok (32:52), Eli Perez (19:14) and Carrolus (12:24).
Berm star striker Kyle Kuykendall, the reigning YAIAA-3 Player of the Year, leveled the match when Israel Felipe played him a long ball. Kuykendall gathered it and was able to beat Meakin with a shot to the left side of the net with 5:04 remaining in regulation.
“Kyle draws a ton of attention from the opposing team and he was waiting up top for the ball in the first half. We told him at halftime to come back for it and that opened things up for us to get more chances,” Berm head coach Jim Zerfing said. “Our guys showed a lot of maturity and that they have the mentality of a resilient team to come back and win tonight after Saturday’s loss.”
Littlestown (4-1, 1-1) had a chance to win in each of the overtime frames, but Blose’s shot was wide in the first session and Berm backstop Carter Stuart denied Leo Guzman with 6:06 to play in the second.
The visitors broke on top just under six minutes into the match when Jory Willow scored off of an assist from Kuykendall. Willow played the ball ahead to Kuykendall and then followed the action. Kuykendall’s shot knocked Meakin down as he made the save and Willow was there for the cleanup.
Blose evened things for the hosts when he took in a through ball from Diego Guzman and went at goal with a shot to the right side that got past Stuart with 26:49 to go in the opening half.
“We knew coming in to the match that they would look to feed (Blose). He can make or break a match,” Zerfing said. “They were playing nine defenders back and were just trying to get the ball to him up top.”
Littlestown pushed its nose in front when Leo Guzman scored on a direct kick from 30 yards out to the left side with 10:58 to play before intermission. It was a lead that the Bolts would hold for the next 45 minutes.
Berm enjoyed a 13-5 edge in shots on goal, while Littlestown had a 3-2 advantage in corners.
The Eagles have little time to rest as they’ll be back at it with a road match at Delone Catholic today at 4 p.m. Meanwhile, Littlestown returns to the pitch when Fairfield comes to town on Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. start.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Bermudian Springs 1 1 0 1 — 3
Littlestown 2 0 0 0 — 2
Goals: BS-Jory Willow, Kyle Kuykendall, Cameron Carrolus; L-Josh Blose, Leo Guzman. Assists: BS-Kuykendall, Israel Felipe, Tazaran Grifo; L-Diego Guzman. Shots: BS-13; L-5. Corners: BS-2; L-3. Saves: BS-Carter Stuart (3); L-Christopher Meakin (10)