When Northwest’s Bailey Bryand sent a ball through Bishop Carroll’s defense in overtime of its boys soccer match Tuesday night, Landon Arensberg found himself on the end of it, just in front of the goal and slightly to the left.
But Arensberg didn’t take a second to think about the 15 unsuccessful shots his team had taken, or the 14 saves Carroll goalkeeper Luis Fernandez made. He just took a step and shot the ball. When it found the back of the net at the far post, Arensberg let it sink in as Northwest won 2-1.
“I don’t really think, it just comes,” Arensberg said. “It feels great to win, especially in overtime, especially with a goal like that. I’m very satisfied with the team and how we played.”
Although the game started evenly matched, Carroll took advantage of its first opportunity, when Simon Nguyen sent a through ball to Luke Ketter, who scored with a shot to the middle of the net 5:23 into the game.
But more than three minutes later, Bryand crossed a ball to the back post after a corner kick to find Andres Lleras for a Northwest goal.
“I told them at the beginning of the game, ‘It’s going to be one mistake.’ (Northwest) made a mistake early and we tucked one in, and then we made a mistake,” Carroll coach Mike Skaggs said. “Andres is leading the league in scoring for a reason, and we left him open on back post on a cross and he punished us for it.”
Northwest maintained offensive possession for most of the game, with plenty of goal-scoring opportunities. But Carroll’s defense, particularly Fernandez, stopped every Northwest effort.
The Grizzlies took an indirect free kick about six yards in front of the goal with 20 minutes remaining, and Fernandez stopped the shot with his shoulder.
The final plays of the second half consisted of two back-to-back Northwest corner kicks, with the second one falling to Lleras’ foot. Three consecutive shots from Lleras rebounded off of Fernandez, and the Eagles forced an overtime.
“I thought we should have had goals during the 80 minutes,” Northwest coach Bobby Bribiesca said. “To me, their MVP was their goalkeeper; just outstanding saves. It seemed like every time we hit it he was there.”
Carroll made a quick offensive push to start overtime, but Northwest regained control and moved the ball back through its midfield. Only two minutes had passed when Arensberg finished off the game for the Grizzlies.
“The way I look at it, if my defense falls apart, it lies on me I have to be there for them like they are for me,” Fernandez said. “Tonight they played outstanding, they saved me a couple of times. But we’re all one team no matter what and we have to work together.”
First half – Carroll, Ketter (Nguyen); Northwest, Lleras (Bryand). Overtime — Northwest, Arensberg (Bryand). Shots — Northwest, 7-9-1—17, Carroll 1-1-0—2. Saves — Northwest, Brandl 0-1-0—1; Carroll, Fernandez 6-8-0—14.