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Lafayette boys soccer season ends in triple-overtime, golden goal playoff opener

Traveling to New Hope for their playoff opener, the Lafayette boys soccer team got off to a late start, and they ended even later.

Dealing with lighting issues in the stadium, the boys didn’t get under way until nearly an hour after their scheduled start time. They then played a game into triple overtime, eventually falling 3-2 to New Hope to end their season.

About 20 minutes into the game, Lafayette found themselves down 1-0 to a New Hope team that had lost just one game all season. Then, late in the first half, a handball from a Commodores defender set up an easy penalty kick goal for New Hope. Just like that, Lafayette entered halftime on the road, trailing by two goals in the playoffs.

“We came out flat in the first half,” head coach Gene Anderson said. “We were just playing long balls, trying to do too much at once. At halftime, we talked about what we need to do to move forward. We challenged them to see how much they would put into it, and they really responded to that.”

Lafayette took very little time to answer back.

Sophomore Osvaldo Arelleno, taking on two defenders on his own, beat New Hope down the right side of the field, sinking a goal near-side to beat the goal keeper. Just minutes later, Crosse Lindsay tied up the game with a ball played beautifully over a scrum in front of the net, scoring over the goal keeper’s head.

Teams battled the remaining minutes before going to overtime tied at 2-2.

In the playoffs, teams play the entirety of the two 10-minute periods of overtime. Lafayette nearly scored at the end of the second overtime to win the game, before their goal was waved off for offside. Entering a golden goal, third-overtime period, New Hope ended the game with a ball played well into the box to take home the 3-2 victory.

“There wasn’t a kid out there that had anything left in them. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to triple overtime,” Anderson said. “Everyone was really exhausted. It was kind of deflating to end like that, because the momentum was just going back and forth. But the kids played so hard. To see how they reacted after the game showed how much they wanted that one.”

The loss ends the Commodores’ season in the first round of the 5A state playoffs for the second year in a row. Yet for a young Lafayette unit, the coaching staff is optimistic about the future of the team and the growth just within this season.