Holly Sow/ Arizona Silver Belt
Middle fielder Brantley Shumway dribbles the ball past his Florence opponents in Tuesday’s home game.
Globe ― Globe’s opening game of the winter soccer season was an exciting one that had fans pounding on the bleachers and shouting cheers down to the final buzzer. For their first game, the Globe Tigers hosted the Florence Gophers at Harbison Field in front of a large crowd and secured the win in the final minute of the game with a nice kick by Colton Bidagain to give the Tigers a 3-2 win over their opponents. The euphoria was enough to forget the cold and celebrate a great start to what is sure to be an exciting season.
Florence was first to score only five minutes into the game. Globe answered back 12 minutes later with a head ball goal from Jorge Renova off of a corner kick by Jonathan Martinez to tie the score 1-1.
The Tigers continued to dominate the first half with good passing and non-stop attacks on Florence’s goal. Both sides played a very fast-paced game, but the Tigers remained on top with superior passing and relentless forwards. Renova had another good attempt from about 10 yards out with 15 minutes left in the half. Bidagainalso got dangerously close to scoring, when Florence’s goalie came too far out of the box in an attempt to grab the ball. A foul was called against Florence and with just over seven minutes on the clock, Globe kicked a penalty kick from about 15 yards out. The kick was deflected but Renova got the rebound and fired off another attempt from the right side. It was good for the tie breaker, putting the Tigers up 2-1.
In the last five minutes of the first half, Florence’s offense more aggressively attacked the ball, giving Globe’s goalie, Cody Peterson, a little more action down at his end of the field. Peterson impressed with a number of excellent saves. The Tigers got in two more very close attempts before halftime, including one by Steven Tyler and another chance with a corner kick and head ball combination. Both just missed the goal.
After the halftime break, Florence returned to the field determined. In the first few minutes, the Gophers fired off two attempts, both of which missed the goal. The pace of the game slowed down a little in the second half, but the precision of passes improved on the Tigers’ side. Just over 10 minutes into the second half, Peterson was busy again, deflecting another hard kick from the center and then blocking the attempt off the rebound.
Less than four minutes later, a defensive foul was called on Globe, giving Florence a penalty kick. The kick was good to tie the score at 2-2.
With the score tied, the pace of the game began to pick up again in the last 20 minutes.
Tyler once again came dangerously close to scoring for the Tigers, but Florence’s defense kicked the ball out of bounds.
Brantley Shumway kicked what was intended to be a pass, but Florence’s defense left the field in front of their goal open. The slotted ball rolled right to the goalie, who then fell backward, but was able to hold on to the ball, preventing what would have been an unexpected goal had it been successful.
Bidagain also attacked the goal, but the goalie held. Less than 10 minutes later, he fired off another attempt from short range, but the ball rolled just outside the goal post. And with just under six minutes left, Bidagain was already attacking again.
The countdown was on with less than two minutes on the clock. Martinez kicked from the corner, but Florence’s goalie deflected the attempt. Shumway got the rebound and shot from the center, but that was blocked, too. In the final minute, Bidagain finally got his goal to break the tie and put Globe on top 3-2.
The Tigers left the Gophers looking tired, bruised and battered by the end of the game, while the Tiger forwards were still running sprints to the goal.
The refs determined there was one minute of stoppage time, but Florence was unable to pose a serious threat. Bidagain received a yellow card when he ran into the goalie in the final seconds of the game. Nonetheless, the Tigers were able to celebrate their big win. On Monday, the boys played Thatcher at home. December is filled with a series of away games.
The next home game will be against Miami on Jan. 7.