Heroic header: LaPointe’s goal with 37 seconds left lifts TC Christian over Boyne City | Sports
TRAVERSE CITY – The ball appeared to be suspended in the air for a moment and spun backwards. As it fell from its peak, Seth LaPointe rose.
Traverse City senior soccer player Christian struggled through a scrum to get his head on the ball and go for gold – with just 37 seconds left on the clock. LaPointe’s goal held and the Sabers claimed a 2-1 win over Boyne City in the first round of the district tournament at the Keystone Soccer Complex on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t just me. Elliott is a beast. He turned it on my head, ”said LaPointe, referring to Elliott Molby, who made the corner kick the decisive goal. “God gave us this opportunity. I was just praying. “
TC Christian (15-5) – who cooperates with the Grand Traverse Academy and TC St. Francis – played another close game against the Boyne (12-8-2) just two weeks ago and took a 1-0 win . The September 28 game drew 0-0 at halftime, and Wednesday’s game appeared to be heading for another goalless draw at half-time.
Both teams put defensive pressure on, and the first shot on goal was fired after more than eight minutes. TC Christian goalkeeper Patrick Gallagher parried the save and missed a breakaway chance for Boyne. The Sabers’ first chance to score came after 17:20 in the first half. Her second came about 80 seconds later when Senior Gabe Classens’ chip shot sailed inches over the bar after Boyne Nic Santina got a few fingertips on the ball.
Classen’s performance wasn’t even the closest thing to TC Christian.
Junior captain Henry Reineck shot a shot from about 6 meters away 10 minutes before the end of the first half, which hit the crossbar. But Reineck corrected the near-mistake less than five minutes later.
Julian Ahluwalia saw Reineck racing towards the net. The runner-up made the extra pass, and Reineck insisted on giving his team the lead.
TC Christian head coach Roy Montney said football is a game of chance.
“This game could have gone either way,” said Montney. “We got chances and we took advantage of it. There really isn’t anything else. “
Boyne City was strong in the second half, led by senior Derek Word. He showed some frustration in the first half, but Word channeled it with determination in the second. Word made multiple attempts to shoot, ricocheting against the defender’s shins before eventually knocking one past Gallagher to level the game at 30:50 in regular play.
The game remained tied 1: 1 for another 30 minutes and 13 seconds until LaPointe’s coupling header.
“We ran into hell,” said Word. “Sure, it’s not the result we wanted, but it was an honor to play with these guys.”
Word spent 12 years with many of his teammates and 14 years with two others.
“They are brothers,” he said through tears. “I will miss her.”
Emotion and disbelief flooded the Ramblers as they walked to the sidelines.
Boyne head coach Ross Daniels called the defeat a “heartbreaking loss”.
“I participated in a lot of games. I’ve been on many sidelines. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a heartbreaker, ”said Daniels.
The loss ended 11 senior Boyne high school football careers. Daniels has trained them every four years and started all 11 on senior night, something he has never been able to do before. Completing such a large group is a huge loss, bigger than Wednesday’s 2-1 loss.
“This group was great. It’s tough. It’s especially hard to see them go. Hard way to end the year, ”said Daniels. “I’m sadder for her than for me. It’s her career. When you see how it ends like this, it’s hard to bear. “
Reineck called Boyne City a great team and a great opponent.
“It’s hard to see them eliminated in the first round,” he said. “Our team, we always fight to the end. We have a great squad that loves to fight until it’s over. I had confidence all the time. “
The Sabers will advance to the semi-finals of the Division 3 district tournament on Monday. They take on a Kalkaska at Elk Rapids High School at 5 p.m.
“If you want to keep going, you have to keep improving,” said Montney. “They showed that today.”
The last minute victory cheered TC Christian on.
“I feel it,” said LaPointe. “I’m done.”