With a minute to go in the second overtime period of East Mountain’s Sept. 7 matchup against the visiting Moriarty Pintos, Timberwolves midfielder and forward Jayden McDaniel picked the perfect time to score.
In the 99th minute of the match, McDaniel secured a through ball from teammate Kyle Hofmann on the left side of the attacking third—the back third of Moriarty’s side of the field. McDaniel took one touch to get into position at the top of the 18-yard box and launched a left-footed line drive that ricocheted off the far post and into the goal to lift the T’Wolves to a 3-2 victory.
“It was just a perfect pass, the perfect volley, I hit it perfectly and it just bounced off the post and into the back of the net,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel, who went to the bench after a leg injury in the second half, had just returned late in the second overtime.
“You see how swollen that thing is?” McDaniel said pointing to a golf-ball sized knot bulging out of his left calf. “I was in for like a minute and then scored.”
“I thought he was out for the game,” East Mountain head coach John Larson said about McDaniel. “He said, ‘Coach, I’m good to go back in,’ and so he came in and two minutes later we’re celebrating on the ground.”
The win marked the first time the East Mountain boys soccer team has beaten Moriarty in a regular season match.
“Yep, my first time,” Pintos head coach Jordan Allcorn said about losing to the T’Wolves. Allcorn, who has been the Pintos’ skipper for more than a decade added, “I don’t know if it’s ever happened before me.”
The game—which wasn’t on the original schedule for either team and was added recently–started out as a battle.
Six minutes into the match, Moriarty’s Alex Lopez scored the first goal on a free kick.
Seven minutes later, a header by East Mountain’s Scott Hofmann off a corner kick got over the outstretched fingertips of Moriarty’s goalkeeper, Isaac Dominguez, to tie the game at 1-1.
After a Moriarty foul inside the 18, Kyle Hofmann’s penalty kick in the 27th minute gave the T’Wolves a 2-1 advantage.
Moriarty’s James Bentley scored the equalizer in the 34th to knot the score at 2-2.
Both teams had their chances to score in the second half and in the first overtime as well, but neither could capitalize.
Dominguez had 10 saves for Moriarty. East Mountain’s keeper Chase Burke had five.
“Yeah, it was a back-and-forth game, I mean, it was competitive, a lot of the kids know each other, but credit to them, they made more plays than we did—and that kid made a great shot,” Allcorn said, noting McDaniel’s game-winning goal.
“It was a hard-fought defensive game,” Larson said. “We had some strong attacks, a lot of shots on goal but Isaac saved them, I thought we were gonna have a tie.”
The teams will meet again on Sept. 21 in Moriarty.