Dallas Soccer DFW

Keller Central scores late to beat Flower Mound Marcus

Published 3/27/2015 8:12:43 PM by staff from dallas

Oh what a little home field advantage will get you.  Spurred on by a large and loud home crowd, Keller Central rallied for three 2nd half goals to knock off Flower Mound Marcus Friday night to open the 2015 UIL 6A playoffs. Marcus started the game brightly and dominated much of the opening half, but the longer the match went the more Central was able to stir them up to the point where the Marauders eventually broke.

It took the visitors less than two minutes to put Central sophomore keeper Josh Starkey to work as Daniel Blaney flicked a header that was headed to the side netting. Starkey stretched to snag the ball and avert the danger.  Minutes later Marcus earned another free kick but this time Central broke out on a major counter attack the other way as Sean Garcia and Evan Ripic raced at a lone defender.  After exchanging four passes back and forth Garcia had his shot blocked at the last second by the lunging Marauder defender.

From there Marcus proceeded to pin Central inside their own half for a long stretch.  The Charger defense was having to work overtime as Marcus was dominating the midfield.  Josh Starkey probably needed an ice pack at halftime with all the long goal kicks he was having to hit one after another.

Finally, in the 21st minute, all the pressure paid off as Marcus took the lead off a long throw.  Trace Marshall launched a throw that Will Wolfendale flicked onwards to Shayne West who headed home. 1-0 Marcus.

Central got a rare attack in the 32nd minute and earned a free kick deep in the Marcus left corner.  Abraham Deanda curled a nice ball to the back post that senior Michael Tengvall headed on frame.  Marcus keeper Landon Plunkett stretched and pushed the ball away for a corner kick at the last instant.

The visitors almost doubled their lead just before the intermission as Steve Pondera whipped in a cross from the left corner.  Daniel Blaney was there for the header that Starkey saved. The game would go to the break with Marcus on top 1-0 and definitely the better side, but Central looked like they were capable of scoring in the send half.

The opening minutes of the second half were fought on pretty even terms until lightning struck in in the 48th minute.  It all started with a long Starkey goal kick.  The ball was flicked in behind the surprised Marcus defense where Sean Garcia was racing in on goal.  The Garcia finish was perfect as he rolled it past the helpless Plunkett and into the corner of the net.  100 yards in 10 seconds from a defensive goal kick.

It was game on now as Central was brimming.  Could the more skilled Marcus side weather the storm and regain composure?

The next chance would fall to the visitors as Steve Pondera once again got in on the left side.  Josh Starkey was up to the task though as he saved the low shot from a tight angle.  Marcus were back on the front foot again as Starkey was called into action again in the 55th.  The frenetic, helter-skelter Central style was keeping the game quite interesting though and it would pay off in the end.

Marcus looked to have taken the lead with eleven minutes to play as Jackson Bradford flicked past Starkey.  The linesman flagged Bradford for using his hands to tug the Central defender before scoring.  Ten minutes left and still tied.

Both sides created chances as the clock wound down.  Sean Garcia curled a chip just over the crossbar and then Pondera whipped a shot just wide at the other end for Marcus. With only a couple of minutes to play CFC earned a free kick deep in the right corner where Adraham Deande put a ball to the back post.  Michael Tengvall was waiting and he headed it home for the dramatic lead.  2-1 Central with two minutes to go.

Marcus would have one last chance as they earned a free kick of their own with only 30 seconds to play.  All eleven Marcus players went forward looking for the late equalizer.  The Central defense rose and headed to safety where Evan Ripic picked up the ball with only a single Marauder to stop him.  It turned into a foot race that Ripic would not lose as he dribble 80 yards before rolling into the empty net.  

Final Score Keller Central 3 Flower Mound Marcus 1

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