Natalie Johnson missed her three previous scoring opportunities. The Havelock junior wasn’t going to miss her final shot of the night.
Johnson stole the ball, took a couple dribbles, then blasted the ball into the right side of the goal, completing Havelock’s furious rally in a contentious and heated Coastal 3A Conference soccer game against D.H. Conley on Monday.
Ali Wickman netted two goals, and Johnson had the final tally in the Rams’ 3-2 overtime victory at Havelock High School.
“It felt really good,” Johnson said. “I just came back from being really sick. I was getting a little upset with my shots. I didn’t expect it to happen like this, but it felt good.”
After a scoreless tie at halftime, D.H. Conley scored two goals in a seven-minute span to take a 2-0 advantage. Sarah Byers knocked in a goal just three minutes into the second half. Olivia Sandy added another goal with 30:16 remaining in regulation.
Then Havelock relied on the leg of Wickman. The senior powered a goal into the left side of the net with 17:04 left in the second half. Wickman’s equalizer came with 5:45 left in regulation, as she smashed a goal over the out-stretched arms of D.H. Conley’s keeper.
Johnson had a chance to win the match in regulation, but her shot sailed over the goal with 35 seconds remaining.
“I was very frustrated and I didn’t know if we were going to be able to come back,” Johnson said. “Once Ali scored that one goal, we got our rally going and everybody started to step up.”
Then came overtime, and a physical extra session at that.
Just four minutes into the first 10-minute segment of overtime, Havelock’s Lauren Seegel was ripped to the ground by her ponytail by Conley’s Olivia Sandy.
Both Sandy and Seegel received red cards. Three minutes later, a Viking player crashed into Wickman, forcing Havelock’s leader out of the match.
But with 30 seconds remaining in the first overtime session, Johnson came through with the eventual game-winning goal.
“It was making me a little mad, and with the red card, I was upset (Sandy) decided to do that on our field,” Johnson said. “I felt bad for Lauren because she wasn’t expecting that.”
The Havelock defense, led by goalkeeper Amanda Alexander, along with Emily Spink, Aliyah Cruz, Janae Mays and Kaitlin Tripp held D.H. Conley without a shot in the second overtime period.
Havelock (6-3-0, 1-1 Coastal) rebounded following a 2-1 loss to White Oak last week.
Alexander had seven saves, and the Rams took 19 shots on goal. D.H. Conley had 13 shots.
“The girls, with the talent they have, should have never been in that situation,” Havelock coach Jeff Harris said of being down 2-0. “They came out flat, and then the last 12 minutes of the game, they started playing their soccer.
“I’m proud of them because they have the tenacity to not give up. The two-goal deficit didn’t depress them and they kept on working hard.”
Havelock is next scheduled to play at Washington tonight before hosting South Central on Thursday.