DII men's soccer: Last second goal sends Pfeiffer to DII semifinals
PALM BEACH, Fla. - In one of the most dramatic conclusions to a game you will ever see, Cristobal Allendes scored with one second left to send the No. 1 Pfeiffer men's soccer team (23-0) to a dramatic 5-4 comeback victory over No. 4 Palm Beach Atlantic (17-2-1) and advanced the Falcons to the Final Four. Pfeiffer trailed 4-3 with under five minutes to play but scored two goals in the final 4:16 to shock the Sailfish.
"I just wanted to put myself in the right position," said Allendes following his dramatic game-winner. "When it went in, I just saw my teammates going crazy. It was an amazing feeling. I am really excited for me and my teammates."
"It was a hard game but I am very proud of our guys," said Head Coach Bob Reasso. "You have to give credit to Palm Beach, they are the toughest team we have played all year. At the end of the day, our belief in each other, our spirit and our heart wouldn't allow us to lose."
Adrian Mosquera was credited with the assist on the game-winner as his ball found Allendes who put it in the open net, igniting a huge celebration on the field. However, that was just one of a handful of tremendous plays made by players from both teams.
The Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 lead and immediately put the Sailfish on their heels. Conference Carolinas Player of the Year Nathan Regis struck just 6:55 into the contest as his blast from the middle of the box beat the diving keeper. Less than 12 minutes later, Regis would tally his 29th strike of the season as the goalie fumbled a free ball and Regis put it in the open net. However, the Sailfish's potent offense wouldn't be kept off the board for long. The hosts entered the contest with an average of 4.1 goals per game and Oscar Farias netted his 10th goal of the year in the 21st minute. Jermaine Metz tallied his first of three goals on the day in the 31st minute as PBA evened the contest. The Sailfish defense provided assistance on the final goal of the half as Santi Moar's cross deflected off a PBA defender and into the net for an own goal. The half would end with Pfeiffer up 3-2.
Metz single-handedly brought the Sailfish back in the second half as the senior completed his hat trick with two goals in a 2:50 span to put PBA ahead 4-3. Each team had a handful of opportunities throughout the second half but were unable to capitalize. Just as it looked like time was dwindling on Pfeiffer's perfect season, they refused to lose. With 4:16 left on the clock, Regis sent a perfect pass to Roberto Soares who sent home his 8th tally of the season and evened the contest at 4, setting the stage for Allendes' dramatic winner. With under 10 seconds left, Roberto Soares kept the ball inbounds along the sideline and sent it to Mosquera who eventually found Allendes for an amazing finish.
For Regis, the national leader in goals scored, he drew within two points of tying the mark for most points in a career. The junior now has 135 points in just 63 career matches and has recorded at least one goal in 11 straight matches.
Tomas Correa made two saves in goal to improve to 14-0 on the season. Steeven Raymont fell to 17-2-1 in net for the Sailfish as he made eight saves.
Pfeiffer held a 23-13 advantage in shots, including 15 attempts in the second half.
With the win, Pfeiffer advances one win closer to a national championship and takes on Charleston (WVa) on Thursday, December 3rd at 6 p.m. in Pensacola, FL. The winner moves on to the National Championship match on December 5 and will take on the winner of Cal Poly Pamona vs. Rockhurst.