Tarweh Helb failed to convert on a couple of second-half breakaways that would have given his St. Georges soccer team a huge cushion on Thursday.
But when the ball skipped right to Helb in overtime, the senior forward didn’t miss.
Helb chipped a 12-yard shot into a fierce wind that floated over Mount Pleasant goalkeeper Will Norris and settled into the left corner of the net, giving the Hawks a 2-1 victory in a critical Blue Hen Flight B game at St. Georges.
“The field was wet and slippery. The ball was getting away,” Helb said. “I tried to finish that last one the best I could. To be honest, it was just a turn and shoot. I just knew I had to get a shot off, and I did.”
St. Georges, ranked third in Division II, bounced back from a 3-1 loss at Brandywine on Tuesday to improve to 6-2 overall, 4-1 in the conference. Fifth-ranked Mount Pleasant, striving for its first winning season since 1988, slipped to 6-2-1 and 3-1.
The Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. Sophomore Vito Montgomery passed to freshman Ky-Air Hamilton, who slipped it right back to Montgomery for a give-and-go score.
“I just had to pass it, and I hoped Ky-Air would give me a through ball,” Montgomery said. “I just put it in, but I thank Ky-Air for that.”
The Green Knights had two big chances early in the second half. Seir Khan’s shot off a corner kick skidded inches wide in the 56th minute, and a 20-yard blast by Zach Rimmer hit the crossbar in the 60th minute.
Less than a minute later, Helb missed to the left on his first breakaway.
Mount Pleasant began to push more numbers forward, and Hawks goalkeeper Robin Jamieson had to make a diving save on Marc Doorten’s low shot in the 72nd minute. Four minutes later, the Green Knights’ Sama Tima headed in a long free kick by Ethan Andrus to tie it at 1.
“Whenever you’re up 1-0, the game is still on the line,” Helb said. “They came back and tied it up, so we knew we had to get a second goal.”
Both teams had another chance in regulation, as Doorten just missed on a shot that Jamieson may have touched and Helb sailed a blast 10 yards over the crossbar on another breakaway.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our boys for bouncing back,” St. Georges coach Justin Null said.
“That’s hard. You’re winning 1-0 the entire game, and then they score a quick goal late in the game. That’s tough for a young team to respond to, but we did.”
The Green Knights still appear to be in good position to earn a spot in the new DIAA Division II state tournament, which begins Nov. 6.
“We never quit. They left it on the field, and that’s what I ask them to do every day,” Mount Pleasant coach Scott Smith said. “… This is a heartbreaker for us. Last year, they beat us in the last second of the game in double overtime. So history repeated itself today.”