The Grand Island boys soccer team got a three-goalie win against Lincoln East on Thursday.
A unique set of circumstances led to the Islanders playing three goalkeepers in the match, but the trio combined to help the unranked Islanders get a 3-2 shootout win against No. 5 Lincoln East at Spirit Park. Grand Island won the shootout 5-3.
It was the first loss of the season for East. The Spartans started 6-0 for their best start to a season over the past eight years.
Grand Island starting goalkeeper Juan Castro being injured during a collision late in the second half is why the Islanders used three goalies in the match.
But when Castro got hurt, regular backup Bryant Bedolla was playing in a junior varsity match on a nearby field at the multiple-field complex. Bedolla had started the day at the varsity match, but with Castro looking good to start the match, the coaches wanted to get Bedolla some playing time and sent him to the JV field.
At that point, the junior varsity goalie, Danny Rendon, came to the varsity match as the backup, but he was forced into action when Castro got injured.
Rendon made sure the Islanders didn’t get scored on at the end of regulation. Then Bedolla came back over from the JV game and played goalie during overtime and the shootout. If the match went to a shootout, Grand Island coach Jeremy Jensen wanted Bedolla to be the goalie.
“It was kind of a mess there for about 10 minutes,” Jensen said.
Bedolla was up to the challenge. The Spartans had the momentum to start overtime after tying the match with just 3 minutes, 4 seconds remaining in the second half. That goal, scored by Zion Osorio, came on a penalty kick.
Bedolla didn’t get scored on in the 20-minute overtime. And then he came up big in the shootout, making a diving save to his left to stop the Spartans’ second attempt.
Grand Island made all five of its attempts in the shootout, by Moises Jacobo, Abdul Juma, Javier Baide, Anthony Acosta and Ernesto Gamez.
After Gamez made his shot for the win, the Grand Island players rushed to celebrate with Bedolla. By then the JV game had ended, and the Grand Island JV players also swarmed around Bedolla.
— Brent Wagner (@LJSSportsWagner) April 5, 2019
It was just the second time this season Bedolla had played in a varsity match. But it was the second time the junior won a shootout this week, after winning a JV match earlier in the week.
“I had PKs against Columbus on Monday and I stopped two, and a third one hit off my hands, but it went in,” Bedolla said. “I learned from that that I have to get strong hands on the ball.”
Jensen said Bedolla did a great job in a tough spot.
“The shootout was definitely something he’ll remember, but for me what I’ll remember is during overtime there was a ball played into space and he came off his line and smothered a chance where East had a one-on-one,” Jensen said.
Grand Island took a 1-0 lead just six minutes into the match when Baide finished off a centering pass in front of the goal.
East tied the match eight minutes later with a goal by Eric Howerter. Then Grand Island quickly regained a 2-1 lead when Najib Omar used his speed and scored.
Jensen said this was a massive win for the Islanders, who had high expectations to start the season, but just a 3-3 record going into the match.
As for the JV match, Grand Island also won that match against East 3-2 in a shootout, with Rendon returning to be the goalie for the shootout.
GRAND ISLAND 3, EAST 2, SO
|Grand Island||2||0||0||0 (5)||--||3|
|Lincoln East||1||1||0||0 (3)||--||2|
First half--1. GI, Baide, 6:00; 2. LE, Howerter, 14:00; 3. GI, Omar, 19:00.
Shootout--GI: Jacobo (G), Juma (G), Baide (G), Acosta (G), Gamez (G). LE: Kohler (G), Stumpff (NG), Thomsen (G), Osorio (G).