With 2 minutes remaining in last Thursday’s boys soccer game against visiting Manassas Park, Monroe saw themselves down 2-1 in their first district matchup of the season.
But as the final minutes ticked it was freshman Gerson Castillo-Rodriguez—who was pulled up from the junior varsity team for the game—who found the back of the net for the Dragons, sending the game into overtime.
“We were low on numbers, and I felt like he would be a good addition to the team tonight,” William Monroe’s head coach Matt Dunn said.
Monroe was down by one early in the game after the Cougars Orvin Tabora-Galdamez scored the first goal of the night. The Dragons bounced back from their one-point deficit after junior Jorge Sanchez-Ramirez saw the back of the net, ending the first half tied up 1-1.
Both teams remained tied until halfway through the second half, when Manassas Park’s Elmer Nolasco Mendez scored the Cougars’ second goal of the night. But just as the Dragons prepared to hang their heads in defeat, Castillo-Rodriguez saw himself in the position to score.
“I was nervous when I was dribbling,” Castillo-Rodriguez said. “I was thinking about passing it, but there was nobody open. I shot it because I was close enough.”
Castillo-Rodriguez’s shot was good, flipping the score 2-2 and sending the game into overtime. Head coach Matt Dunn told his team to keep pushing.
“The biggest thing is getting our minds in the game and mentally playing smarter while playing a little bit more physical,” he said. “I just said that they can’t let up and needed to keep their mind in the game. I told them they didn’t have time to be tired now.”
After neither team was able to advance the score in the first round of overtime, the game moved into double overtime. With less than three minutes in double overtime, Monroe’s goalie Evan Wagner saved a Cougar shot. With the score still 2-2 at the end of double overtime, last Thursday’s game ended in a tie.
William Monroe, now 2-3-2 overall, was scheduled to play Culpeper County High School after press time. Their next home game is April 26 at 7 p.m. against Warren County High School.