With 3:36 left to play and with the game likely headed to penalty kicks, Grovetown High’s dream of a state boys soccer title were dashed.
For the Warriors, unfortunately, the game all but ended with a penalty kick.
With the score tied at two, the Warriors were called for a foul with Drew High School’s Sam Medina in the box. His penalty kick to the low left corner of the net gave the Titans (11-4-1) the 3-2 win in the first round of the state tournament.
“They’re a good team, and they came to play, and we hadn’t played in a few weeks because of forfeits and I think it hurt us,” said Warriors head coach Bill Madigan.
The year was the final one for Madigan, who will only coach basketball next year.
The Warriors (12-6) won Region 3-AAA and were a No. 1 seed, but hadn’t played since April 19. The Titans came out and scored the first goal of the contest with just under 37 minutes left in the first half when Medina shook loose in front of the goal.
Following the score, the Warriors controlled play the rest of the half.
They appeared to have scored the equalizer with 23 minutes to go, but Joe Dauda’s goal was disallowed on a handball call. Unfazed, the Warriors continued to apply pressure. They built momentum into the break when Chris Evans scored with a minute remaining, putting the ball past the keeper on a pass from Armand Berry.
Grovetown goalie Damon Stinger kept the game tied with tough saves early in the second half. The Warriors then took the lead when Taven McDonald sprinted down the right sideline and got the ball in front of the net to Dauda, who tapped it in with just under 30 minutes to play.
From that moment on, the flow of the game changed to the Titans. They tied the score with 13:27 to play on a Shem Ogunbunmi goal then won it on Medina’s kick.