For the first hour and 10 minutes, it looked like some bonus soccer would be needed to determine a winner between Gibault and Triad.
In the 74th minute, Logan Doerr and the Hawks changed that.
Doerr scored on a header off a corner kick from Karson Huels, breaking a scoreless deadlock and lifting Gibault to a 2-0 victory over the Knights in the Class 2A Columbia Sectional on Friday.
Gibault (16-6-3) advances to the Springfield super sectional Tuesday, where it will face either Urbana or Chatham Glenwood. Triad’s season finishes at 13-14-1.
“It’s a coach’s nightmare, waiting until the end of the game and having those dramatic goals,” Gibault coach Darryn Haudrich said. “I told them at half, ‘Can we just find a way to find the back of the net sooner, so we don’t have to have all this anxious energy at the end of the game?’ But the late-minute theatrics showed up again.”
Huels sent in the corner kick from the left side, and after the ball pinballed around in front of the Triad goal, it found its way back out to Huels. The junior midfielder sent the ball back to the net, and Doerr deflected into the goal with his head.
“It felt so good,” Doerr said. “We kept pushing the momentum forward, and it finally paid off.”
Johnny Adams added a goal in the final minute to end the scoring.
The teams played fairly even in the first half, with neither squad generating much in the way of chances. Early in the second half, Triad kept the ball in front of Gibault’s goal, with Knights senior Jaden Deatherage making several runs at the net and Hawks goalkeeper Connor Olson having to make several saves.
As the second half continued, however, Gibault had more and more of the possession. Huels and Adams both had promising shots stopped by Triad keeper Reiss Naylor. It appeared the Knights might force overtime, until Huels and Doerr connected for the winner.
“That’s a tough way to lose a game,” Triad coach Jim Jackson said. “We played much better in the second half, and we had our opportunities. (Gibault) is a dangerous, talented team, and we played with them.”