Aquinas soccer team advances to next round in overtime

Aquinas 2, Walker 1

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Aquinas' Austin Worden (foreground) and Walker's Jacob Smith collide while fighting for possession of the ball during Tuesday's GHSA Class A state playoff game. The Irish will face Our Lady of Mercy on Friday.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Aquinas' Austin Worden (foreground) and Walker's Jacob Smith collide while fighting for possession of the ball during Tuesday's GHSA Class A state playoff game. The Irish will face Our Lady of Mercy on Friday.

Aquinas coach Kevin Trammell was thinking about the penalty kicks that appeared to be inevitably upcoming when he had to turn quickly.

With one perfect Connor Tierney toss and a flawless Matt Moses header, Aquinas scored with 52 seconds left to get a 2-1 overtime win at home against Walker on Tuesday in a second round GHSA Class A state playoff game.

“ ‘This is the time if ever,’ ” Moses said he remembers thinking. “I did not want to go to PKs.”

Tierney started the play with a throw-in fired toward the box. The ball got deep in the box and was in a great spot for Moses to connect with it and place it far enough away from Walker keeper Colin Mitchell.

Upon scoring, Moses lifted his jersey over his head and ran to the student section in celebration.

It was a glorious end for Aquinas (14-2-1) after countless chances near the
end of the second half didn’t go in.

Moses was often the one trying to finish, but he instead had his attempts stopped by Mitchell.

The best chance was so close Moses and a few teammates lifted their arms up, thinking they had a goal. But a header was stopped and then bobbled by the keeper, and the officials ruled the ball didn’t cross the line.

The increased intensity followed Walker’s tying goal with 28:04 to play in the game.

With Aquinas clinging to a 1-0 lead on a Justin Thompson goal, the Wolverines capitalized on a mistake in Aquinas’ end that allowed Eric Pereira to float the ball in and leave Irish keeper Will Doss without a chance for a save.

But as the game extended to extra time and Aquinas kept pushing for its second goal, Tierney provided the flawless throw, stunning even his coach.

“I’m thinking there’s no way,” Trammell said. “It was adrenaline – something to get that inside the box. Hat’s off to him.”


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