After 99 minutes and 45 seconds of scoreless action, top-seeded St. Elizabeth and fifth-seeded St. Andrew’s appeared to be headed to penalty kicks until the Vikings’ Craig Harris broke away from the Saints defense.
Harris rushed toward the net before burying a shot to give St. Elizabeth a 1-0 double overtime victory over St. Andrew’s in the semifinals of the DIAA Division II Boys’ Soccer State Tournament Wednesday at Dover High.
“I knew we had to score, so I was staying high up a lot. My friend Jimmy [Kleinhomer] saw an opening and played me through,” said Harris. “I just gave all I had and sprinted down the field. I knew the goalie wasn’t coming out. I took my time.”
Harris’ goal capped two action-packed overtime sessions, which saw both teams with multiple chances to win the game. The Vikings (15-2) had two chances midway through the first overtime, but one shot coming off a corner was stopped and another was deflected wide.
A couple of minutes later, the Saints (12-5-1) had their chance to win it with an opportunity off of a corner kick. The kick came in and found the foot of a St. Andrew’s player, but a St. Elizabeth player was stationed on the post and blocked the shot to prolong the game.
The Vikings coaching staff had already decided who was going to shoot for them if the game reached the penalty kick situation, but they knew there was a chance they would not need that.
“We had our five in check, and we were ready to roll with that. But we weren’t done. I never count my boys out until it’s done even though we had our five guys,” St. Elizabeth’s coach Ed Gibbson said.
The win sends the Vikings to the state championship game against second-seeded Indian River at 4 p.m. Saturday at Smyrna High School.
“It’s just crazy. It’s the first ever for St. E’s. I’m so excited, and so is my whole team. We’re ready for it,” Harris said.