Better late than never.
Trailing 2-0 with 18 minutes to play Tuesday in Festus, the Union boys soccer Wildcats rallied to tie it by the end of regulation, and then win in overtime, 3-2.
“This is a very resilient group we have this year,” Union Head Coach Josh Wideman said. “The boys played well early in the first half and late in the second.”
Union improved to 12-3-1 with the victory while Festus fell to 6-7.
Festus took the lead on a penalty kick with 12:40 to play in the opening half. It was 1-0 at the intermission.
The Tigers made it 2-0 with 18 minutes to play. That’s when the Wildcats started their comeback.
“We were down 1-0 at halftime and then went down 2-0 in the middle of the second half,” Wideman said. “Hats off to this group of young men, because they never got discouraged or forced plays. Throughout the game, we had a number of great chances but couldn’t find the back of the net until Isaiah Cojocaru got a pass from Evan Hall after Luke Smith played a corner kick into the box.”
Cojocaru netted his first goal three minutes after the second Festus goal to cut it to 2-1. He scored again with four minutes to play to tie it.
“Then, with just under five minutes left in the game, Eddy Luta was dribbling in the box and made a cut to the middle and got the ball to Isaiah Cojocaru,” said Wideman. “Isaiah didn’t hesitate and took a one-timed shot that got passed the Festus goalie.”
Regulation play ended with the game at 2-2.
In overtime, Luta scored to give Union the 3-2 victory.
“Both teams had a couple of good chances before a foul got called on Festus just on our side of midfield,” Wideman said. “Wil Herbst played the ball quick over the top to Eddy Luta. Eddy dribbled into the box and calmly scored the game winner. Great comeback win for the boys.”
Ian Meyer stopped seven shots in goal.
Wideman confirmed some bad news. Jack Wagnaar, injured in last week’s overtime loss to Washington, will be out for the rest of the season.
“Jack is still a huge part of this team and is now helping me coach,” Wideman said.
Union improved to 13-3-1 Thursday with a 1-0 win at Winfield. Evan Hall scored Union’s goal. Meyer made five saves in the win.