Roadrunners weather rain & Faulkner for second SSAC win
DALTON, GA (dsroadrunners.com) -- In a game that had all the making of a letdown after a heart stopping overtime win over #10 ranked Auburn University-Montgomery on Thursday night, Coach Kerem Daser and his “cardiac kids” Roadrunners soccer team pulled off the nearly impossible and won an unbelievable second straight game with a golden goal in overtime to beat Faulkner University 2-1, another Montgomery based school.
“It was so exciting to pull off our second straight overtime conference win in 48 hours,” said Daser. “I give big credit to Faulkner’s coach and team. They are a hard working group and are very physical that would not give up.”
The night was full of hard hits, jaw shaking collisions, and unrelenting weather with both teams fighting with a level of intensity usually saved for meetings between longtime bitter rivals. It was clear from the opening kick that the Roadrunners second conference win would not come easy.
Under steady pressure from gusting winds, sideways rain, and a group of physical and fast Faulkner defenders, the NAIA’s leading scorer Tomide Adabale scored both goals for the first year soccer team. He gave the Roadrunners the first goal of the game off a well-timed and perfectly placed assist from teammate Tyler Hudson.
While there was no shortage of opportunities in the first half with both teams combining for a total of eight first half shots, the early goal by the Roadrunners was the lone score of the first period as the Roadrunners went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
As the second period of play began, the rain intensified along with the defensive play of both squads. With each passing minute, it appeared that the upstart Roadrunners were going to sneak away with a hard fought 1-0 win. As fate would have it, it would not be that simple. The rain soaked crowd fell silent as Faulkner’s Mehdi Himmich found Rodrigo Doben for the tying goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation.
Both teams battled through a scoreless first overtime period, but things didn’t look good for the young Dalton State squad. Connor Curran’s second yellow card of the game left the Roadrunners down a man for the deciding second overtime.
The Roadrunners quickly made it clear that they would not wilt under the pressure as they quickly took to the offensive, pushing the ball deep into Faulkner’s half of the field time and time again. With time running out on the Roadrunners attempt to pull off their second straight overtime conference win, Tomide Adabale put the golden goal past the Faulkner goalkeeper.
Our four freshmen defenders and freshman keeper (Diego Gonzales) were solid,” said Daser. “Our captain, Jordan Man, and Kiko had great games at midfield”
With the win, Dalton State moves to 9-2-1 and 2-0 in SSAC play, while Faulkner fell to 5-4-1 and 0-2 in the SSAC. The Roadrunners will return to play on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00 P.M. for a home tilt against SSAC conference foe Mobile University at Dalton's Lakeshore Soccer Complex.