With about three minutes left in the second overtime period and the game tied at 1-1, Mid-Prairie striker Austin Errthum was dribbling at the goal before getting tied up with a defender and stumbling inside the box.
Errthum and the Golden Hawk bench were looking for a penalty call that never came, but the left-footed striker didn’t let it ruin his game.
“After going down, the ball somehow got right to Nick (Stimson) and I yelled ‘back side.’ Then Nick looked up and played me the ball,” Errthum said. “It just grazed over Wyatt (Cady’s) head, then I saw both of them converge and the ball landed right in front of me. I saw the open goal so I knew I just had to tap it in, so I took my time and finished it.”
The Class 1A ninth-ranked Mid-Prairie boys soccer team remained unbeaten with a 2-1 win over Class 2A 14th-ranked Clear Creek Amana on Monday.
The game was special for Errthum not just because he scored two goals including the game-winner, but also because it was his birthday.
“They say your 18th birthday is one to remember. I’m definitely going to remember this,” he said. “It just gets us one step closer the ultimate goal, which is obviously a state tournament in June.”
Errthum scored the first goal off a direct free kick about 20 yards out with three minutes left in the first half, giving his team a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Mid-Prairie coach Pat Cady said he has absolute confidence in his senior striker in these situations and that they would have drawn up a different play if it has been an indirect kick.
It looked as though Mid-Prairie would get the 1-0 decision in what had been a hard-fought, back-and-fourth match, but in the final minute of the game, the Clippers drew a penalty just outside of the right side of the box.
Junior striker Jon Jacobson took the kick and hit the equalizer, finding the upper right corner of the net and forcing the game into sudden-death overtime. About six minutes earlier, Jacobson left the game with an injury but returned at the time his team needed him the most.
Neither team scored during the first overtime period and a shootout seemed inevitable until Errthum got his birthday present with the game-winning goal. The senior, who has a scholarship to play soccer at Drake in the fall, was humble about his shining moment.
“On the stat sheet, it will say that it was me that did it, but I can’t do it alone. So I obviously give credit to my teammates,” he said.
This was the third match in as many days for the Golden Hawks after picking up two shutout wins at a tournament Saturday in Newton.
Cady said his team has faced its fair share of adversity, including injuries. Riley Sieren was hurt during P.E. class earlier in the day, which kept him from playing at full strength.
“(We’ve had injuries) and other things fighting against us,” Cady said. “Thankfully, we’re deep and able to move some people around. We’re still making some adjustments to figure where everybody fits in. After a couple more games, I think we’ll have everything figured out.”
Clear Creek Amana (0-1) travels to DeWitt to take on Central Clinton today, while Mid-Prairie (3-0) hosts Class 1A third-ranked West Liberty on Thursday. Cady said he also is focused on Mid-Prairie’s match against defending Class 1A state champion Regina on April 14. The second-year coach was impressed with his team’s play Monday but said there is still plenty of room for improvement.
“Fifty-fifty balls are killing us,” he said. “We were creating situations that did not benefit by letting them get to the ball first on the keeper releases. We just have to play hard, play smarter and stay healthy.”