FAIRMONT - Under the lights at the Kot Soccer Complex, the Fairmont Area Cardinals boys soccer team stole a 3-2 nonconference overtime victory from the Southwest Minnesota Christian Eagles on Thursday night.
Carter Welchlin sent a centering pass from the right wing to a covered Grant Becker, who dribbled past a defender to score the game-winning goal at 2:50 in the second overtime period.
While Becker may have gotten the game-winning goal, 20 seconds earlier Matt Tennyson gave the Cardinals a chance to win when he stopped a penalty kick by the Eagles' Jake Robinson following a hand-ball call.
SIDE-BY-SIDE — Fairmont Area defender Brock Johnson?(22) battles Southwest Minnesota Christian striker Brett Krosschell for control of the ball during non-league soccer action Thursday night in Fairmont. Photo by Leanna Becker
"Every time we play this team, it always comes down to the bounces. We respect each other's abilities, and both teams play hard to the end," said Fairmont head coach Jeff Kot. "We just happened to get the last bounce tonight."
It was the Eagles who received the first bounce of the night when Silas Top sent a pass to Klint Knutson, who shot it past Tennyson at 28:44 in the first half.
"Early on in the first half, they had control of the game. They were beating us to the ball and controlling it. We came out strong and took control back in the second half," said Kot.
The Cardinals tied the game at 1-1 when Joe Washa netted a corner kick from Becker at 33:16 in the second half.
The Eagles wouldn't quit and continued to put pressure on the Cardinal defense. They were able to take the lead back at 19:52 when Nathan Pfeifle sent a centering pass to Luke Nibbelink, who sent it to the back of the net to make it 2-1.
Becker once again had a chance to net a goal at 12:17 when he beat Caleb Esselink on a penalty kick, which resulted from a hand-ball call in the goalie box to make it 2-2.
While both teams had their chances near the end of regulation, neither team was able to capitalize and the game went into overtime.
The Eagles had a great scoring opportunity on a penalty kick from a hand-ball in the box at 3:19, but Tennyson stopped it before Becker scored the game-winning goal seconds later.
"Grant scored two of our goals and last year was an all-state honorable mention, and Tennyson is one of the best goalies in the section. They both had huge plays for us tonight to get his win," said Kot.
Fairmont (2-0) hosts Waseca in a 7 p.m. South Central Conference game on Tuesday.
Southwest Minnesota Christian (2-2) travels for a 4:30 p.m. game against Central Minnesota Christian in Prinsburg.
SW - Klint Knutson (Silas Top), 28:44.
FA - Joe Washa (Grant Becker), 33:16.
SW - Luke Nibbelink (Nathan Pfeifle), 19:52.
FA - Becker (PK), 12:17.
FA - Becker (Carter Welchlin), 2:50.
Saves: Caleb Esselink (SW) 4-3- 7; Matt Tennyson (FA) 5-3- 8.
Shots on Goal: Southwest Minnesota Christian 5-6-1-12; Fairmont Area 3-5-1-9.