Cavs win on final kick

Published 9:38 pm Friday, April 24, 2009

A basketball game comes down to the final shot fairly often. The same goes for the last batter in a baseball game or a Hail Mary or a field goal attempt on the gridiron.

Soccer, on the other hand, rarely comes down to the final kick. That’s what happened for city rivals Lakeland and King’s Fork on Thursday night at Lakeland.

Lakeland senior Scott Asbell calmly placed a 15-yard boot into the King’s Fork goal, with literally the last kick of the match, for a 2-1 overtime victory for the Cavaliers.

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In what was a hotly-contested match throughout, a match which included 18 fouls combined between the Cavs and Bulldogs, the final goal was not without controversy.

In the final seconds of the 10-minute overtime period, as the Cavaliers advanced the ball toward the King’s Fork penalty box, the scoreboard clock reached zero. Continuing into what turned out to be about 40 seconds of stoppage time, Lakeland’s Alex Brooks dribbled toward the right side of the KF box but was dispossessed by two Bulldog defenders.

The loose ball rolled toward the center of the KF box where Asbell was in the right spot for an open shot, which he made count. The official blew the final whistle seconds after the goal, before the kickoff after the goal.

The match was as even as the score indicated. The final shot total was 17-17. Through the 80 minutes of regulation, KF held a 9-6 advantage in corner kicks. The fouls wound up 10-8 in Lakeland’s favor.

Asbell gave Lakeland the lead in the 14th minute, racing past KF’s back line and onto a long pass by Justin Burch. Asbell finished the run with a shot rolled just inside the left post.

Lakeland’s goal and 1-0 lead was against most of the action in the early part of the match though. The Bulldogs threatened with the speedy trio of Terricus and Terence Alexander and Keiyon Monroe.

The Bulldogs’ speed forced Lakeland into many hurried clearances, including five corner kicks in the first 20 minutes of the match. Once the Cavaliers forced KF into a set piece, and once the Cavs had their full defense in position, the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalize.

That was until the first minute of the second half, when the Bulldogs got their tying goal. Starting with a throw-in from deep down the right sideline, KF’s David Montel threw toward the near post, setting off confusion which ended in Terricus Alexander being open for a goal into a wide-open Lakeland net.

In the final minutes of regulation, Lakeland nearly got a winning goal with Brooks finishing a long run on the dribble, from near the midfield stripe to inside the center of the KF penalty box, by sending a shot off the crossbar.

KF had chances as Terence Alexander forced Lakeland keeper Daniel Jones into punching away a shot from close range near the right endline, then on the ensuing corner kick, Terence Alexander’s header narrowly missed, going from a few steps off the far post across the goal mouth.

In overtime, the Bulldogs controlled a majority of the field position, especially during a two-minute span in which KF gained four corner kicks before Lakeland got the last-ditch goal.

In goal, Jones made five saves for the Cavaliers and KF’s Curtis Poole made five saves.

King’s Fork (6-4, 0-4) hosts Indian River on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Lakeland (5-6-1, 1-3-0) goes to Western Branch on Tuesday night.