It was a battle til the end, as Union’s battle weary Spartans traveled to Trask for a soccer matched that went into overtime and ended with a victory for the Sampson team.
An elated coach David Ameen tipped his hat to his soccer team, saying they never quit in a game that saw Trask ahead at the half and up by 2 nearly midway the second period.
“These guys battled through their pain and found a way to win,” Ameen stressed. “I simply could not be prouder of their effort. They gave it everything they had and left it all on the field. That’s something a coach likes to see. It was good soccer tonight, really good soccer.”
The Titans got the first goal of the night some 15 minutes into the game, but Union would not be left behind. Spartan Yoni Martinez found the back of the net about three minutes after Trask scored with an assist from Cezar Cardines.
Just before the half, Trask scored again, puttng the home team up 2-1 going into the break.
Then, when the teams returned to the field, Union was called for a foul in the box and the Titans hit the penalty kick, putting them up 3-1.
Ameen said it was during the break that he took a different approach with his team.
“Honestly, I knew that we were pretty evenly matched with Trask. In fact, I think we are probably a little more physical and they havee a bit more game smarts. I knew it was going to be a battle, but, at the same time, I knew we were good enough to win, and I told the guys it would be what they made it. I wanted to see if they were willing to do it,” Ameen said.
And, the coach said, the Spartans game around in a big way.
Down 3-1 and about 20 minutes into the second period, Martinez got a score to draw Union closer. Then, with 12 minutes to go, Mauricio Amaya hit pay dirt, tying the game and sending it into overtime.
In the first 10-minute half, it was a battle of defenses, with neither team able to get off a score. But, in the second 10-minute half, and with about four minutes left, Isaias Campos, off an assist from Freddy Sanchez, found the net and got the score.
“It was just a great game,” Ameen reiterated. “It was a good conference win and a solid road win for us.”
The win moves Union to 3-3-2 overall and 2-3-0 in conference. They host county rival Midway Wednesday in a match that begins at 6 p.m.