Gar-Field senior forward Mark Close converted two penalty kicks in the final 14 minutes as the Indians rallied from a three-goal deficit to defeat visiting Potomac (Va.), 4-3, in a Virginia AAA Northwestern Region quarterfinal in Dale City last night.
Close scored the game-winner with two minutes left, converting a penalty kick after a Potomac defender was called for a handball. He had tied the score in the 66th minute on a penalty kick awarded for a push in the penalty area.
Three Potomac players were cautioned in the game, with two sent off, and one Gar-Field player was cautioned.
"I never lost confidence in the fact that we were going to come back," said Close, who is the Indians' leading scorer with eight goals, all of which have come on penalty kicks. Potomac "got really frustrated once we started moving the ball on them."
The victory put Gar-Field (10-5-1) in today's regional semifinals, where the Indians will host Stafford. After starting 1-5-1, Gar-Field has won nine straight.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead 26 minutes into the game when senior midfielder Wilmer Arana scored off a right-footed rocket that tucked inside the near post.
But Gar-Field made it 3-1 in the 30th minute, when junior forward Darien Ruggles scored from nearly 20 yards. In the second half, senior forward Jusufu Barclay closed the gap to one with a header in the 56th minute.
Among the cards issued were two yellow cards to Potomac's leading scorer and captain Douglas Boateng, the second -- which required him to leave the game -- came with the score tied and 12 minutes to play. Boateng scored 19 goals this season for Potomac (11-6-2).
At the end of the game, several Potomac fans and players threw water bottles and other objects at the officials. As fans jeered, a police officer escort the officials from the field.
"They came back in the second half and played a better half than we did. We got lackadaisical," Potomac Coach Mel Klugh said. "Then we lost [Boateng], and that was a huge hit."
Tabb Upends Courtland
After more than 93 hard-fought and evenly played minutes, Tabb junior Mike Krewinghaus put an abrupt end to the Virginia AA Region I boys' soccer quarterfinal and an abrupt end to Courtland's season.
In the evening's second overtime session, Krewinghaus won a ball just outside the Cougars' penalty area, beat several defenders with a quick move and then rocketed a shot into the upper right corner of Courtland's goal, just beyond the outstretched hands of diving goalkeeper Jason Stanislawski. It gave Tabb a 3-2 road victory and a spot in Thursday's regional semifinals against the winner of last night's game between Jamestown and Powhatan.
"I'd never be able to do that again," Krewinghaus said of his shot.
Courtland, which won the regular season Battlefield District title, finished the year with a record of 15-5 and thoughts of what might have been after failing to convert several prime scoring opportunities.
"The only team that beat us tonight was ourselves," said Courtland Coach J.T. Nino. "We had chance after chance, and we couldn't put it in the net."
Tabb, of Yorktown, which plays in the competitive Bay Rivers District, is 10-5-2. Sophomore David Parsons and junior Justin Armitage scored for Courtland, and Stanislawski had 10 saves, including two diving stops in overtime.