Carr’s last second goal lifts Locks

WINDSOR LOCKS — Windsor Locks’ Shelbie Carr scored a miracle goal with six seconds left during a remarkable field-long 20-second dash to give the Raiders a 1-0 win over Somers in the first round of the 2013 girls soccer Class S state tournament Monday afternoon.

“That was crazy,” Carr said, trying to take it all in following the win. “Honestly, our possession game has improved so much over the past year. Our defense is amazing, our midfield penetrated so well. Carley Hoynoski at top with me, she is crazy good. It was so amazing.”

The strike came off a perfect pass from Carley Hoynoski and shocked not only the Spartans, but the spectators supporting both sides, and even the coaches.

“We get a nice little ball up to Carley, she stays with the play, and you saw the rest,” Windsor Locks head coach Jim O’Brien said. “It was a brilliant goal. It was an absolute bomb. There’s no chance that keeper could stop it. It was upper left, perfect.”

The Raiders were battling for possession deep in their own end, next to their own goal. Finally with under 30 seconds left, Windsor Locks was able to get control of the ball and turn things around to make one final push.

“We were pretty deep,” O’Brien said. “It was a full-field counter. If you are persistent it pays off. In general I thought we had better chances today. In general we were more in control than not. Both teams worked very hard but that was a brilliant finish, unbelievable.”

“We struggle to score against the good teams,” Somers head coach Michael Pantuosco said. “Today we played five backs, four plus Kristen Steidler. She was marking Shelbie Carr all game, she was with her for 79 minutes and 40 seconds, but Shelbie, she hit a blast, you can’t hit it better than that. And Kristen was a step behind her.”

The score broke a scoreless tie and was a bitter ending for the Spartans’ season. The goal was scored on a short-handed Somers squad, as a red card was given to a Spartans player with 4:45 left to play, making the defeat even more tough to swallow.

“I could not be any happier than how the kids played,” Pantousco said. “We had 12 seniors play in the game and every single one of them played as hard as they can play. I never have any doubt that they gave everything they have. I couldn’t be prouder.”

“They are a great team, they play so hard,” Carr, a junior, said of Somers. “We just were the better team today, we gave our all, we knew we had to give 110% to beat them. If we keep playing the way we are playing with this energy we will be pretty unstoppable.”

As for Windsor Locks, the game-winning goal and the dramatic victory is a memory the team will never forget.

“That was a moment,” O’Brien said. “A moment these kids will cherish for a long long time. We didn’t give in, we were persistent for 80 minutes.”

Hailey Johnson was a spark all game long for the Raiders, and the forward had multiple opportunities to put Windsor Locks on the board.

“All game long from the outside mid-position, she was creating havoc,” O’Brien said. “She was doing a great job, that was probably Hailey’s best game of her life.”

Somers had a big opportunity as the first half wound down, but free kick by Jaclyn O’Grady came up short. However the Spartans got amazing play in net from Hailee Stetson.

“She was aggressive,” Pantuosco said. “Her job is to own the 18 and be as aggressive as possible and she was. She did it all year for us and she was probably the most improved goalie on the conference.”

Midway through the second half, it appeared the Raiders had the lead. But an apparent goal by Carr was called off due to a player being called off-sides.

But none of the near misses would matter after Carr put it away with six ticks left.

“I think it’s going to give us a lot of confidence,” O’Brien said. “We just played quite well.”

“I have never felt anything better, it is so awesome,” Carr said with a smile.

It was only fitting that the epic victory came against Somers. Afterall, the two teams have gotten to know each other pretty well of late.

“It’s the last four or five years we have had a lot of good battles,” O’Brien said. “We’ve had overtime or one goal games, the tie last time. They have kind of become out soccer rival. It seems to be us and them a lot. When I saw [the bracket], you always want to play someone from another league, you want to try and avoid people in your conference but that’s how it goes.”

Somers’ head coach Pantuosco agreed.

“I would have much rather played anybody else from the state than someone else from our conference,” he said. “It’s very difficult for teams like Windsor Locks and us to get good high seeds, because we play six or seven games against Class M and L and LL teams.”

Windsor Locks will advance to the second round of Class S and will travel to fate 3-seeded Coginchaug Wednesday.

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