Come From Behind Victory Sends Leopards To Quarterfinals
On April 2nd, Lovejoy took on Adamson at Mesquite Memorial Stadium in the Area Finals. Adamson took the lead late in the first half after being awarded a penalty kick but Lovejoy responded to tie the score at 1-1 on a goal from Michael Branch in the final minutes of the half. Lovejoy again found themselves playing from behind when Adamson scored on a shot from just outside the 18 yard box early in the second half. Lovejoy again responded keeping pressure on their opponent which ultimately led to a penalty kick being awarded to Michael Branch who calmly converted the try to tie the score at 2-2. The offensive pressure continued for the Leopards and the winning score came with less than five minutes remaining when Benji Merrick weaved through a couple defenders, beat the goalie who had come out to pressure and escorted the ball easily into the open net. Despite falling behind twice in the game Head Coach Alex Duran stated “we don’t panic, we are going to keep fighting until the end. They are believing, that is the key.” When asked about the winning goal Coach Duran put it simply, “It is Benji being Benji, he is a senior and I am so proud of him and the team”
The win sends the Leopards to the third round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Details on the quarterfinals are pending.