Stine’s two goals sends Huskies to River View

STOPPING MOMENTUM — Harrison Central’s Corey Dunlap passes the ball during a Division II, Region 7 sectional contest against Maysville on Tuesday. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

CADIZ — The Harrison Central boys soccer team was 5:58 from seeing its season come to an end at the hands of No. 13 Maysville Tuesday, but junior Evan Stine was not going to allow that to happen as he scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to lift the No. 11 Huskies to a 2-1 win in overtime to advance in the Division II, Region 7 East sectional tournament.

“We told Evan to stay on the last defender so he could use his pace and his dribbling to get the chances, and he got the one to force overtime and we were lucky enough to get it in overtime,” Harrison Central coach Derek Gramling said. “Credit to Maysville, they played a heck of a game. Unfortunately, someone has got to lose and go home, but they played a great game.”

Stine connected from in close as his Huskies began to up the pressure late in game to even the score at 1-1. Then, with 6:02 remaining in the 15-minute sudden death overtime, he found the back of the net again from the same exact spot to extend Harrison Central’s season by at least one more game.

“I just saw the back of the net,” Stine said of the winning shot. “Everyone played their hardest, and we didn’t put our heads down. We kept our intensity up and just kept pushing. Everyone kept their cool and their calm, and we’re happy with that.”

The Huskies (8-7-1) got off to a bit of a slow start but started to get more shots off as the first half went on. Harrison Central fired 10 shots during the opening 40 minutes but got just two of them on target. Maysville (2-11-4) attempted five shots in the first half and put just one of them on goal.

The Panthers first shot of the second half found the target as sophomore Mason Swauger drilled the ball by Huskies goalkeeper junior Job Positano (six saves) from about 15 yards out in the sixth minute of the second half, giving Maysville the lead and putting it in position to pull an upset.

“We just gave them too much space to work, and they took advantage of it,” Maysville coach Lance McGee said. “That was the 10th game we lost this season by one goal or less counting ties and losses. We’ve been in a lot of close games all year, but those are the types of games we just couldn’t put away.”

The Huskies did a better job of getting shots on the goal and making Panthers senior goalkeeper Dakota Harper (eight saves) make stops. Despite trailing the majority of the second half, he did not get frustrated and stuck to the plan.

“In the first half we were taking shots from 30-35 yards out, which are hard to score on,” Grambling said. “It has to be a heck of a shot to beat a keeper from there. In the second half we passed it a little bit better, and our shots were closer to the goal. We made their goalie make some saves, and he made some fantastic ones, but when you have a striker eight yards out there is not much a keeper can do with that.”

Just before he tied the game, Stine had a pair of golden opportunities, fanning on one attempt and sending a following up high and wide. After the score was tied, Positano preserved the tie with three key saves in the final five minutes.

The Huskies finished taking a total of 21 shots, 10 of which were on goal. Maysville ended the night with 16 shots, seven on goal.

The Huskies will have a tall task on Saturday when they travel to take on No. 1 River View, who knocked off No. 16 Carrollton 20-0 in their respective section game on Tuesday, at 4 p.m.

“We are very glad to be moving on,” Gramling said. “Saturday is going to be a big test for us.”