Senior Day Special: Bulldogs Prevail in 2OT With Khosravi Penalty Kick
At 6:17pm eastern Friday evening in Northwest DC with official sunset looming at 6:19 (source: www.timeanddate.com) and the second extra period well into injury time, senior co-captain Russ Khosravi calmly placed the Nike Merlin official game ball on the penalty kick stripe as he prepared for his potential game-winning shot against Georgetown Prep’s goalkeeper, who had made many acrobatic saves throughout the afternoon. The large crowd was quiet with anticipation and nervousness when Khosravi approached the ball, a 15-foot runup consisting of 3 quick stutter steps followed by 2 full strides plus the final stride that propelled his right foot through the ball, a perfect strike that sailed just out of reach of the diving keeper into the back of the net. The goal allowed the Bulldogs to stay within reach of IAC leader Landon and triggered a wild celebration among players that carried over to the Steuart Field track where the STA Dog Pound had come rushing out of the bleachers. The dramatic win gives St. Albans 18 points in IAC play (5-0-3), just two points behind Landon (20 points, 6-0-2), which beat Episcopal Friday. STA and Landon both play Tuesday next week before facing each other next Friday at Landon in the final game of the regular season.
As exciting as the final shot was, the 90-plus minutes of play that got the game to that point were filled with goal-go-goal action that kept players, coaches and fans captivated. Both teams created offense with fast-break clears, high quality services on corners and free kicks, and desperately repelled each other’s chances with slide tackles, blocked shots and thrilling saves. Perhaps inspired by the pre-game ceremonies recognizing their 11 seniors and their parents, the host Bulldogs opened the game with an offensive pace that seemed to take the Hoyas by surprise. And it was three underclassmen that put STA up early. Junior Niall Fergus struck a perfect corner kick at the 11:00 mark that fellow junior Leo Siegel headed to sophomore Jack Sabel, who ripped a one-touch rocket into the back of the net. St. Albans kept the pressure up for most of the first half before Prep missed on several close shots in the last few minutes of the half.
The visitors came out of the halftime break with renewed purpose, especially offensively, as they pounded shots from all angles toward the STA goal. The Hoyas broke through in the 49th minute when they found the ball in the midst of a six-man scramble in the STA goal crease. Both teams are mirror images of each other with lineups that include multiple offensive threats, mid-field speed, stingy backlines and goalies with penchants for big saves. The final 30 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of extra time featured several hit goal posts and cross bars for both teams, physical play, and desperate defensive stands. For many in attendance, particularly the Prep faithful, a PK did not quite feel like the fitting end to such an intensely and closely contested game. Most IAC observers will agree that these two teams are destined to see each other again in the IAC tournament the first week of November in what promises to be another nail biting roller coaster ride.
St. Albans stays unbeaten in IAC play with the win, raising their record to 5-0-3 while the Hoyas fall to 3-2-3. The Bulldogs host Episcopal Tuesday, October 26 at 4pm on Steuart Field for their last regular season home game of the season.
Located in Washington D.C., St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.