With the absence of goal line technology, the immediate question to be asked after Sanderson’s 2-1 win against Heritage Wednesday has no conclusive answer – was the game-winning goal actually a goal?
Tied 1-1 in the 63rd minute, Sanderson’s Temple Siar hurled a long throw-in toward the Heritage goal, targeting the head of Grantham Williams, much like the Spartans had done a half dozen times earlier in the game. The ball went past Williams, and Heritage goalkeeper Cooper Green knocked it down and the Huskies looked for play to proceed. But the referee immediately blew his whistle to signal a goal.
Heritage coach Scott Sloan said he was told the ball glanced off Williams’ head, but Sloan disagreed vehemently because, he said, the trajectory of the ball didn’t change before Green knocked it down. Which begs the question, where was the ball when Green touched it?
Because a throw-in is an indirect restart, another player must touch the ball before a goal can be scored. So the goal would stand if Green was behind the goal line when he touched it. Otherwise, no goal should have been given.
“It hit the keeper, and (the referee) called it off of that. I’m not going to tell you whether it’s a goal or not. But I’ll look at it, and I told coach Sloan I would look at it,” said Sanderson coach Todd Worley. “(The referee) was adamant it was a goal right away.”
“I’d love to see that last goal on video,” Sloan said. “But we’ll probably never know. If it broke the line before (Green) touches it, then it’s not a goal. I felt like he kept the ball in front him. “
Play of the game
Down 1-0 after Heritage’s Logan Shytle converted a penalty kick in the fifth minute, the Spartans’ attack came alive. They finished the night with 22 shots, and the one that led to the tying goal in the 22nd minute was built exquisitely.
Daniel Bascunan-Wiley started the sequence with the ball just inside the Spartans’ half. He smashed a diagonal ball into space on the other side of the field to Joey Daly. Daly collected it and cut toward goal, splicing a low ball across the 6-yard box. Heritage did well to repel Daly’s first ball, but Tyler Downing, trailing the play, ran onto the ball as it sat near the penalty spot and buried the shot in the low right corner.
“I was trailing a little late. I saw the cross bounce out and it was just an easy tap-in,” Downing said.
Green, the Heritage goalkeeper. He made eight saves by night’s end, including at least four from inside his 6-yard box. Even though the clinching goal might or might not actually have been a goal, Green can hardly be faulted. Had it not been for his quick reflexes, sure footing and positioning, the Huskies might well have lost by five or six.
They said it
Sanderson coach Todd Worley on using Wednesday’s result to get the Spartans going as they enter the thick of the Cap-8 season: “We’ve just got to keep playing well. Every teams a different match-up. Who can eat us and who we can eat. Hopefully, we eat more often than not. Our guys are playing well and working hard.”