The fans counted down the seconds until the scoreboard clock hit zero. When the ball deflected behind Takoma Academy’s goal, the Tigers thought the Metro Independent School Athletic League championship was won.
It was not.
“Our guys were listening to the fans. I was yelling from the sideline ‘we’re sill playing,’ ” Takoma Academy Coach Bryan Brown said. “My guys were confused.”
“I’ve never heard of a game ending with an impending corner kick,” Grace Christian Academy Coach Dan Perrotta said.
Wittlinger earned and scored a penalty two minutes into overtime. Under the MISAL’s silver-goal rules, Takoma Academy needed to tie the game to force a second overtime.
Sophomore Henderson Rodriguez scored to save the Tigers’ season with 10 seconds to spare. In the second overtime, senior David Miongo fought off three defenders to score from the top of the box, and Takoma Academy finished off a wild 3-2 victory.
“My kids, I saw some of them, and it didn’t look good. That game was pretty much over, and those guys thought they won it,” Brown said. “David got his goal. Nobody knew how he did that. Then we parked the bus and held on.”
Before Saturday night’s game at Riverdale Baptist, Takoma Academy (10-2-1) split the regular-season series with Grace Christian (9-4-2). The win is the school’s first MISAL title since the boys’ soccer team won the 2013 championship.
In the girls’ final, Calverton senior goalkeeper Lucy Carroll held off Rockbridge to preserve a 2-2 tie heading into the second overtime. Then, the Cougars turned over the gloves to starting left back Jocelyn Kuidlan.
The freshman saved Rockbridge’s first penalty kick before all five of Calverton’s shooters converted from the spot to pull out a 2-2 (5-4) victory. Calverton avenged losses to Rockbridge in the past two MISAL finals.
“I would say last year Rockbridge was probably the better side. This year we deserved it,” Coach Patrick Noel said. “We deserved to go out on top. We played solid throughout the season, and beating them twice was no easy task.”
The Cougars and the Scots have matched up in the league’s last five finals. Calverton (9-1-1) leads the series 3-2.