The Magnolia Blue Eagle boys soccer season came to a close as Wheeling Central scored three consecutive goals to come from behind and claim a 3-2 overtime victory in Class-A/Class-AA sectional play in New Martinsville Monday, Oct. 15.
The Blue Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half on goals by Oscar Celedon. The first goal came on a penalty kick when a Central defender fouled the Blue Eagles' Alex Anderson in the box. Celedon's second goal came unassisted from 30 yards out and hooked around the Maroon Knight goalkeeper.
Central fought hard and tied it up as the whistle sounded at the break. Neither team scored in the second half to set up two 10-minute overtime periods.
Magnolia had several opportunities to score, but a nice defensive effort by Wheeling kept that from happening and threw the contest into a second OT with the score tied and at two.
With four minutes remaining in the second OT period, the Knights' exchange student, Pablo Lopez, drilled a bullet past the out-stretched hands of Mike Winters for the game winner.
With a little under three minutes left in the second OT, the Eagles made a charge, but couldn't find the trigger.
"I have played here for four years and this, by far, is the best group of guys and unselfish team players I have ever been around," said senior fullback Eric Piekarski. Coach Clinton Bruck told his team, "Guys, this by far was your best game of the season. You do not have anything to hang your head down. You left everything on the field and I'm proud to have been your coach this season."
Winters made 12 saves in between the nets for Magnolia, while Celedon kicked in the Eagles' two goals.
The Blue Eagles will lose four quality seniors to graduation, Piekarski, Winters, Trevor Long, and Alex Pancake, but will return their top scorer, Celedon, and starters Anderson, Soren Shade, Jacob Pancake, Jesse Long, Drew Estep, and Caleb McCune. They also return Mikey Dantrassy, J. T. Stillwagner, Kyle Goddard, Troy Boughner, Frankie Grilli, Tyler Kazlman, and Alex Glover.