It was a tough way to go down.
Camdenton hosted Fatima in the home opener Thursday night in a contest where both teams came at each other with a relentless attack. With 18 ticks left on the clock in overtime, Fatima was the team to break through as the Comets recorded the game-winning golden goal to secure a 2-1 win.
It may have been a tough ending for Camdenton coach Mike Gow’s club, but he was proud of the effort his team brought Thursday night.
“The guys definitely wanted to play today and it was fun to watch,” Gow said. “I was super disappointed in the outcome of the game and we still have to fix little tiny things that are causing us to break apart, but it was a good effort on our part. We kept good composure and there were some times where a couple of young guys like this could have just lost their minds about some things that were happening. They did a nice job of keeping themselves together and I was proud of that. It was tough.”
After a scoreless first half, the Lakers quickly found the back of the net as sophomore Luke Galbreath played a through-ball to sophomore Josh Gerdiman who placed a shot past the Fatima keeper just 28 seconds in. However, the Comets were able to find an answer as Fatima found an opening at the top of the box and blasted a shot to the left of Camdenton senior keeper Nolan Moriearty to tie it up in the 62nd minute. The Lakers put up seven total shots in the second half while Fatima recorded eight shots of its own, but neither side could break the deadlock by the end of regulation.
Camdenton put up just one shot in the 10-minute golden goal overtime period where the next team to score would be rewarded with the win and it was nearly enough. Camdenton junior Chris Morgan tested the Fatima keeper, who was off his line, with an arching 40-yard strike and it nearly beat him as he caught the ball backing up with outstretched arms.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Comet offense stayed consistent and had a few more chances with three shots of its own. One of those shots was a 25-yard blast from that found its way to the top right corner past the diving Moriearty who nearly stopped it with fully-extended arms.
“That is one of those things where we are defending the guy in the wrong place,” Gow said of the game-winning goal. “We should be trying to close the space down between and instead we are just running along the field with him (Fatima forward) and you have to close that space down. You can’t give a guy two yards of space and let him play it off his foot easily because that guy just laced it. It was a hard shot.”
Despite two goals slipping by him, Moriearty proved to be a tough man to beat as he kept his team in it by making numerous stops from point-blank range where many keepers would fail to react.
“Nolan definitely does a good job of keeping us in the game. He is athletic he is mean and he takes it personal back there,” the coach said of the senior. “If more of the guys in front of him would take it as personally as he does, they would be impenetrable. We are lucky to have him playing like he is playing.”
But with each shortcoming there is also a chance to learn from mistakes and Gow is hoping his guys will do just that and make the necessary corrections.
“It is about intensity at practice and how, if you make a mistake like that in practice, it’s got to mean something to you. It’s got to hurt your pride a little bit and they have to start understanding that it takes a little intestinal fortitude to play this game.”
The good news is that the season is still young and the Lakers (0-2) have plenty of opportunities to get back on track and start putting wins on the board.
“Next game,” Gow said. “This game is done and we are not going to change anything on it. We just have to look to the next game and just train for that one.”
Camdenton will return to the pitch Tuesday night where the Lakers will host Ozark Conference foe Kickapoo at 5 p.m.