By RUSSELL JONES
A last-second buzzer-beating win is usually something one thinks of in a basketball game. But a matchup of two young teams on Friday resulted in one of those last second victories for Proctor boys soccer as they defeated Otter Valley Union High School, 1-0, with only seven seconds left in double overtime.
Conner McKearin scored the game’s only goal as time wound down in the second overtime as the Phantoms defeated the 1-5 Otters at home.
The Phantoms pushed the ball deep into Otters’ territory for much of the game. To their credit, the Otters’ defense played well throughout the match. Sawyer Pierpont played remarkably solid defense, several times clearing the ball out of the Otters’ backfield and helping to take pressure off of freshman goalkeeper Benjamin Adams.
“Sawyer played well on Friday,” OV coach Dick Williams said. “He has technical quality, but also showed that he can fight head-to-head with the competition in the midfield and for the most part get the better of them.”
Williams also said his young goalie was doing well this season and had “great physical attributes” and a “willingness to learn.”
“He had some nice saves on Friday and we expect him to improve year to year,” the OV coach said.
The Otters have struggled this season. They have put together some tough, gritty performances, but have only one win to show for it. What the team essentially needs, Williams said, is more goals.
“Against Proctor we didn’t create enough chances,” he said. “This OV team is young and improving all the time. I believe we will see better results as we go through the season.”
The Phantoms are continuing to roll through their early season schedule. They have yet to lose a game, but did have a draw with West Rutland. The Phantoms have scored five or more goals in three matches this season, with many of those coming from McKearin.
Against the Otters, their offense kept up the pressure forcing OV to play on its heels most of the game. The Phantoms defense was disciplined and adjusted well to what the Otters were trying to do offensively.
Keeping the ball on the Otters side of the field led to multiple corner kicks to try to break the scoreless tie until right before the final buzzer when McKearin finally put one in the back of the net.
The 5-0-1 Phantoms are at the top of the Div. IV rankings and will take on Mid-Vermont on Wednesday. The Otters are at West Rutland on Tuesday, after The Reporter’s deadline.