The Oklahoma Christian Eagles scored a winning goal in the last minute of the second session of overtime to win their first Lone Star Conference Championships game by a score of 2-1 over the Lubbock Christian University Chaparrals in Lubbock, TX.
Joep Classen launched a free kick from midfield in the last minute of the game that found Alexandre Picoto Rodrigues in the box for a header into the back of the net sending the Eagles into the second round of the playoffs set for this Friday.
“We definitely ended with what we deserved,” head coach Coach Mitchell Sowerby. We got a good goal early, we held the ball well and we did good. Ultimately at the end we just asked the guys, ‘someone go put one away for us and get that game winner’ and that’s what happened,”
The game was a first-round playoff match between fourth-seeded Lubbock Christian University and the fifth-seeded Eagles. The two teams split their two meetings earlier this year, each team winning their home game against the other.
A crowd of more than 200, including several OC parents and fans who made the trip, watched the game in 64-degree weather and breezy conditions.
The Eagles outshot the Chapparals all game, ending with a 21-7 advantage in shots on goals. Both Eagle goals came off free kicks—one in the first period and the second in overtime. The Chaps goal came on a through-ball at midfield in the second period.
The initial period saw seven shots by Oklahoma Christian compared to 2 by Lubbock. However, one of the Oklahoma Christian kicks found the net. Elliott Forestier scored his second goal of the season off of a free kick from the right corner of the 18-yard box. The goal went over a wall of four LCU defenders and curved into the net over LCU goalkeeper Tom Miles.
In a post-game interview Forrestier called the goal “incredible.”
“I was ecstatic. I had previously scored a free kick last week, so I was comfortable to step up again.”
The 1-0 OC lead lasted until the 77:40 mark of the 90-minute game when LCU forward Pablo Gallietero Diez scored his ninth goal of the season when a through-ball at midfield passed several Eagle defenders and Diez had an open route to the net. The goal would be the only one of the night against goalie Daniel Hosier who stopped six shots on the night.
The overtime format was two ten-minute periods and the first ten minutes had no scoring and few chances. In the second OT period, Oklahoma Christian had two narrow misses before scoring. A shot by Alejandro Colom at the 8:40 mark was narrowly deflected with a single hand by Miles on the left post. At the 3:15 mark, a shot by Isaias Silva rolled completely across the six-yard box that ended with a diving save by Miles on the right-hand post.
The winning goal came with :50 seconds left in the game. It was the third goal of the year for Rodrigues who headed it in from about six yards. Coach Sowerby noted the many times they were inside their opponent’s box during the game.
“As long as we’re getting those chances, we know we’re in a good spot,” said Sowerby.
With the win, Oklahoma Christian advances to face top-ranked St. Mary’s in San Antonio on Friday, November 4 in the semifinals.