After playing to a draw in regulation, East Mountain High School’s boys soccer team captured a 3-2 overtime win in its Sept. 3 home opener against the visiting Gallup Bengals.
Two minutes into OT, East Mountain striker Tyler Batie grabbed a cross pass, took one touch toward the right side of the 6-yard area and hit the game-winning goal to lift the Timberwolves to victory.
“It was quick, I was in the right spot, I had a good cross and I got a good left foot on it,” Batie said, adding, “It was fun.”
After a late start due to weather, the game was played with two 30-minute halves instead of the typical 40 minutes each to get the match completed before sunset.
Gallup struck first to take a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the game, but the Timberwolves answered 10 minutes later with a long free kick from nearly 30 yards out to tie the game at 1-1.
The score remained knotted 1-1 at halftime.
About 13 minutes into the second half, East Mountain (2-2) pushed ahead 2-1 when Tyler Burnette drove inside the 18-yard box and scored on a 15-yard shot that took a beneficial bounce over Gallup’s goalkeeper who’d gone down on his knees.
But Gallup responded with the game-tying goal in the 47th minute and the score remained knotted until the end of regulation.
“I was pleased that we won,” East Mountain’s new head coach John Larson said. “I’m pleased with our defense, our defense played well, but we’ve got to do a lot better on passing—I’m looking for more assists.”
Larson took over the Timberwolves last month when recently hired Jerry Duran resigned. It is Larson’s first high school head coaching position, but he said he coached a lot of the East Mountain players in AYSO and club soccer teams.
East Mountain’s next match is Sept. 6 at Sandia Prep.
Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.