As quickly as Havelock gained the momentum in its soccer match against White Oak Tuesday night, the Vikings took it back.
White Oak scored three goals in overtime to beat the Rams 4-1 in a Coastal 3A Conference match at Havelock High.
“I think what turned it around was that they realized they had squandered numerous opportunities throughout the game to let them (Havelock) back in the game,” White Oak coach Buddy Carroll said. “I had to jump on them a bit. They started playing like they could play. The attitude change made a difference.”
The Vikings led 1-0 until Havelock’s Noah Kemble scored off a rebound from Nick Seegel with under five minutes to play, tying the match at 1-1 and forcing two 10-minute overtime periods.
“We got that goal, and when we got that goal, I really felt like going into overtime that we had the momentum,” Havelock coach Jeff Harris said. “But that first goal they got in overtime just changed all of the momentum. That was tough.”
Victor Bernard scored six minutes into the first overtime, and Troy Jurney added a goal off Alec Gustafson’s free kick two minutes later, putting the Vikings clearly in control of the match.
White Oak (14-1, 7-1) added a goal on Gabe Krueger’s pass to Jurney in the second over time, capping the victory.
Jurney had three goals on the night for the Vikings, who had 16 shots on goal to Havelock’s seven in the match. White Oak managed to limit the offensive opportunities of Havelock’s top two players, Kemble and Peter Brown.
“Noah and Peter, those boys can play. I’d take them on my team any day,” Carroll said. “We made sure we kept Noah in front of us. Those two guys are pretty much their entire offense. They create for everyone else, so we just had to limit those guys from getting touches, and we were successful.”
White Oak had its first shot on goal in the first 30 seconds of what was a feisty match. Jurney’s header off a pass from Kevin Gonzalez put the Vikings in front at the 22-minute mark of the first half.
“We’re doing well, but I just don’t want us to get to a point where we’re satisfied, and I think everybody felt satisfied just being up one goal,” Carroll said.
Havelock’s defense, especially early in the second half, helped slow White Oak’s offensive attack until late in the match.
“We lost focus in overtime,” Harris said. “We were trying to push to get us a goal and I think we just kind of lost focus a bit. Once they got the first one in overtime, we started pushing harder, and the harder you push, the easier it is for them to exploit a mistake, and that’s what they did. White Oak did a good job of taking advantage of our mistakes in the overtime.”
With the loss, the Rams fell to 11-5-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the conference.