Down 1-0 at halftime against West Davidson, the Newton-Conover soccer team rallied.
The Red Devils (21-2-1) to score one goal in the second half and another in the second overtime.
“We knew it was going to be a tough one,” said N-C coach Angelo Palozzi. “They did their scouting report. They had their gameplan, which was to sit back, put a couple guys on Chandler and let the rest of the team beat them.”
West Davidson took a 1-0 lead behind a header goal in the 25th minute by David Monk. The Green Dragons carried the advantage into halftime.
“They got one goal, but I told the team that we’d been down before this year,” Palozzi said. “Lucas stepped up with a great shot. That’s what seniors are supposed to do on a night like this.”
Newton-Conover wasted little time, scoring seven minutes into the second half on a goal by Lucas Hernandez.
“We knew we had to step it up,” Hernandez said. “We actually switched some things up around midfield and put me up top so we could have someone to plant a ball to Chandler in. We were able to punch a goal in.”
After a first scoreless 10-minute period of overtime, the two teams went to a second extra session, trying to ensure a winner.
At the 8:23 mark, Johnson secured the N-C win. After cutting down the center of the field and past three West Davidson defenders, the senior found the back of the net, putting N-C up for good.
“Kevin Thorpe played a beautiful ball, splitting the defenders and got me in through,” Johnson said. “I just used the speed I had and got it into the back of the net. That’s all I had to do.”
The Red Devils advance to the second round, where they will meet Lincolnton at home on Saturday.