LANCASTER — Members of Fisher Catholic’s boys soccer team dropped to the ground in relief as they watched Eli Frazier chip in a shot to save the Irish from a frustrating defeat.
Frazier scored in the match’s final minute Saturday to help the Irish tie 1-1 with Bishop Rosecrans after a frantic second-half attack kept coming up inches short.
“I’m screaming, ‘Drop. Drop.’ and as soon as it dropped in, it’s a sense of relief,” Fisher Catholic coach Ben Schenko said. “Because at that point, there’s 26 seconds left in the game, and our defense is good enough that I wasn’t worried they were going to get anything.”
Trailing 1-0 after allowing a first-half goal, the Irish (3-2-2) gradually pushed more players forward in the second half. They came a few touches away from potentially scoring a handful of times despite not registering a shot on goal most of the half.
Luke Hughes later shot a high lob from 20 yards away that sailed less than a foot above the crossbar. As the minutes continued to tick off the clock, the Irish’s pace became more intense. In a final effort, Frazier gathered the ball just outside the penalty box with his back to the goal, turned and lobbed it with his left foot over the goalkeeper’s head and into the top corner.
“The biggest thing for me was could we create an opportunity in that last 26 seconds to go up 2-1?” Schenko said. “(The goal) relieved the pressure of losing, but I think it kind of put more pressure on me because now we needed one more to win.”
Fisher Catholic almost had that chance in the final 10 seconds. Frazier appeared to be bumped while closing in on the keeper in the penalty box, which would have been a penalty kick if the officials had called a foul. Schenko was irate as no foul was called and the Irish had to settle for the tie.
“I’m glad we didn’t lose,” Schenko said. “I’m glad we got the tie. I’m glad that Eli chipped it in. But I’m a little disappointed.”
Schenko said he wasn’t happy with the way the Irish started the match, allowing a goal late in the first half on the counter attack and not playing with a sense of urgency.
He made a few adjustments at halftime, including changing formations, and the team got it together just in time.
“Though we did play much better (in the second half), we really didn’t have that urgency until the last few minutes,” Schenko said. “The changes at halftime did pay off, but it was more of getting out attitudes in the right place.”