Ralph Joseph scored off the goal post from 30 yards out in the 98th minute Sunday to give the East Central College soccer Falcons a 3-2 overtime win against Illinois Central.
Joseph (Broward/Mars Hill, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) scored the golden goal to give the Falcons (5-1) the win.
“We won the ball and sent it to Ralph into space behind their defense and he took off,” East Central Head Coach Benji Grimes said. “He was wide of the area 30 yards out with the defenders closing him down and he hit a shot. It was a screamer. He put it off the far post and it slammed into the net. It was struck so hard and true I was speechless. I have been around a long time and seen some amazing goals. This was one of the best strikes I have ever seen. The game was over, the players were rejoicing and we were all just trying to comprehend what Ralph Joseph just did. It was simply amazing.”
Grimes said the Illinois Central coach even appreciated the effort.
“Illinois Central’s coach simply was in awe of how good a strike that was,” Grimes said. “He said that shot will haunt him for a few days jokingly. He was very impressed with him.”
It was East Central’s fifth win in a row after East Central dropped its opener at Kansas City, Kan., Community College.
“We now are 5-1 and have beaten the No. 8 and No. 20 ranked teams,” Grimes said. “We defeated tough teams this week in Crowder and Illinois Central. This team must get better but we keep finding ways to win. I hope this tougher schedule pays off when we get to regionals. We will see.”
The Falcons beat Parkland when that school was ranked eighth in the preseason poll. Morton, a team East Central beat last Monday, is currently ranked 20th.
In Sunday’s game, the Falcons got the opener. Juan Bolivar (South Broward High School, Hollywood, Fla.) knocked in a crossing pass from Joel Konteh (Robert Smith Academy, Market Harborough, England) in the 31st minute. The Falcons led at the break, 1-0.
Zach Druhe (Granite City, Ill.) knocked in a Magnus Andersen (Koege Business School, Koege, Denmark) corner kick in the 50th minute to make it 2-0.
But Illinois Central wasn’t done. Nathaniel Moon scored at the hour mark on an assist by Federico Zanna. Vincent Formant Garcia tied it in the 82nd minute and the game went to overtime.
“At half we talked about keeping the momentum but we started slow and they took advantage,” Grimes said. “Our players were tired and beat up from playing Crowder a day and a half earlier. They came at us and broke through our defense and scored a nice goal. Lewis (Brass) didn’t have much of a chance. Then, with the score going to 2-1, the momentum changed and they were all over us. They scored an equalizer off a free kick and found a player far post who deflected it past Lewis and into the goal.”
Grimes indicated that was what it took for the Falcons to respond and regulation ended at 2-2.
Brass (Cardinal Hume High School, Tyne and Wear, England), the NJCAA Division I goalkeeper of the week last week, made four saves in goal, including two late in the contest.
“Illinois Central had a great chance to score, but Lewis stopped it but the rebound went right back to their player and he hit another good shot and Lewis made another great save to keep them out of the net,” Grimes said.
The Falcons return to action on the road Friday, playing a 4 p.m. match at Lincoln Land. The next home match is Sept. 19 against St. Charles. The match starts at 4 p.m.