When that lead South Sioux City had for more than 50 minutes Monday night went away with four minutes remaining in the Class B boys state soccer championship match, the Cardinals had one collective thought.
“Losing was not going to be an option,” South Sioux City coach Marla Grier said. “We've got to get this done. We don't want to wait any longer.”
It took the Cardinals less than three minutes to get that goal back. Then 67 seconds later, South Sioux City had its first soccer state title.
Jonatan Galvez patiently hung around the 6-yard box, grabbed a pass from Martin Hurtado, then tipped and followed the ball into the Omaha Skutt net for the winning goal in South Sioux City's 2-1 victory over the SkyHawks.
“I was anticipating him getting ready to pass,” Galvez said. “I saw the ball and I just wanted to hit it and put it in.
“Nobody was going to stop me.”
One thing that didn't stop the 16-2 Cardinals was playing the final 6:20 of the first half and the second half one man down.
South Sioux City was in that predicament because goalkeeper Esteban Curiel was given a red card for a hard takedown of Skutt midfielder Jonathan Plance just outside of the goal box.
Stunned and disappointed the call was made, Curiel threw one glove to the ground and kicked it. Then the other glove came off and was tossed to the turf.
“We've never played down a man, we've never had a red card (this season),” Grier said. “I think they were jittered for a few minutes, like five minutes, and then they had to figure out, 'OK, we can do this with one less man.' ”
The Cardinals scored the first goal of the match just over nine minutes before that infraction. Hurtado scored a header off a corner kick by Eduardo Gamboa.
Playing from behind for more than 50 minutes, the 19-2 SkyHawks could not let up on the pressure to get the game even.
“We were just tired,” Skutt coach Rob Meyers said. “Our guys were just dead exhausted because it just took so much energy to get back into it. We just had to keep going forward and we had to play a little faster than we normally do. Our kids had to go after every ball, get possession and try to get back and score.”
Skutt's equalizer came at 75:59 when Jacob Sievers sent a header into the net off a throw-in by Dylan McHale.
Tying the match, then giving up the winning goal moments later, was the fate South Sioux City endured in the 2012 championship match. Skutt was the winning team that night.
That made Galvez's goal — in regulation, no less — that much sweeter.
“It's about time,” Grier said.
South Sioux City (16-2) ................. 1 1—2
Omaha Skutt (19-2) ........................ 0 1—1
Goals: 1, SSC, Martin Hurtado (Eduardo Gamboa), 24:19. 2, OS, Jacob Sievers (Dylan McHale), 75:59. 3, SSC, Jonatan Galvez (Hurtado), 78:53.
Contact the writer:
402-618-4113, email@example.com, twitter.com/stevebeideck