GREENSBORO — It took two overtimes, but the Northwest Guilford boys soccer team ended up right where the Vikings always thought they would be – headed to the Class 4-A semifinals.
That’s because Mason Quinlan scored two dramatic goals to lift the Vikings to a 2-1 overtime win over Myers Park tonight on the Northwest campus.
“He’s our main target up top, and he’s done that for us all season,” said Vikings coach Jason Allred. “That’s gives him 16 goals for the year, and he’s scored some very big goals for us.”
The Vikings (21-2-2) advance to the state semifinals at R.J. Reynolds (18-2-1) at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Wake Forest will play Holly Springs in the Eastern final, and the state championship game will be Saturday.
The Vikings started the game strong, keeping the play in their offensive end. Quinlan, Tom Edwards, Harrison Neeble and Braden Champion were in control of the game and created a solid scoring chance in the first 45 seconds. But finishing against an organized Mustangs defense would prove to be difficult all season.
With 8:03 left in the first half, Quinlan and the Myers Park goalkeeper both raced to the ball and arrived at the same time. The ball bounced free, and the keeper fouled Quinlan as the two scrambled to it.
David Cake, the Vikings' senior captain, who had tallied 10 goals from his center back position this season, uncharacteristically missed the penalty.
“David is usually automatic on PK,” Allred said. “But we created a lot of other chances that we didn’t finish.”
Myers Park took the upper hand in the second half, forcing Northwest to defend for the first time in the game. However, the Cake-led defense withstood each push.
Then, just as the Vikings settled down and started launching attacks, the Mustangs took the 1-0 lead.
With 32 minutes to play in the second half, Myers Park senior Cameron Peterson smashed a rebound past Vikings keeper Jared Petrosky.
The action was end-to-end for the next 30 minutes, with both defenses hanging on and turning away attacks. But with 1:43 left on the clock, Quinlan tied the score.
“It was a free kick outside the box and the goalkeeper was cheating to the left,” Quinlan said. “Jeremy (Van Dorn) was taking it, and he always goes to the right. So I went over to the right. The keeper saved it and it fell right to me.”
The Vikings entered overtime with momentum and a renewed belief. Mustangs goalkeeper Jacob Hall was forced to make two saves in the first two minutes of the first overtime period. But a second 10-minute period would be needed to determine the winner.
With 4:16 left Quinlan did it again.
To get the game-winner, Quinlan ran on to a bouncing ball down the right side, chested it down and hit a volley to the near post past Hall.
“Traditionally, Myers Park is very good,” Allred said. “They were the West Region champion last year, and we are super-excited to be able to beat a team of that quality."
The Vikings have reached the semifinals for the first time in school history.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling," Quinlan said. "I’ve never had anything like this.
“From Day One, we’ve known we can do this.”