FAIR HAVEN — Fair Haven senior Tyler McClure ensured a picture-perfect ending to the Slaters’ senior night when he scored the game-winner in the second overtime period at LaPlaca Field. The Slaters edged Otter Valley 3-2 in boys soccer action.
The game-winner was made possible by Fair Haven sophomore Kaylo Stevenson who sent in a cross that found McClure’s head and soared past Otter Valley goalie Benjamin Adams.
“Tyler didn’t have a lot of height going for him there in front of goal but…the quality of that header was extraordinary,” said Fair Haven coach Tim Dayton, head coach of the Fair Haven Slaters.
Dayton touched on a play earlier in the game, where McClure was able to win another header over a bigger opponent. Dayton said he looked over to his assistant coach and said, “shortest man on the field wins the header.”
After the pregame ceremony ended and the seniors from both teams were acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to their respective programs the game began and was a closely contested one throughout.
“We dominated play early on, created a lot of chances but didn’t cash in,” Dayton said.
Slaters senior Jake Hochberg opened the scoring with 10:22 left in the first half. He took the one touch shot following a bouncing cross from the flank.
Fair Haven’s Nick Carrabino was the next Slater to score after dribbling through the Otters’ defense and keeping the ball away from the keeper to score an open net goal.
The goals were four minutes apart.
The second half saw both teams begin to play harder. Fair Haven was trying its best to keep hold of their lead while Otter Valley continued to apply pressure in attempt to get onto the scoreboard.
Otter Valley sophomore Hayden Bernhardt was the man to score the Otters’ first goal. He took a long shot that bounced off of Slaters’ goalie Kole Matta and found its way into goal.
Fair Haven continued to try and keep the Otters away from their goal, but Otter Valley continued to apply pressure, and it paid off.
With 3:11 left in regulation, Otter Valley freshman Jeremy Coan put one into the back of the net after Matta made a good save but couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
Overtime began and both teams were continuing to apply pressure and trying to break through the opposing team’s defense. Fair Haven continued to try to pass the ball over the defense, while Otter Valley continued its possession play.
In the end, McClure was the man with the spotlight on him in the closing minutes of the final overtime period.
“I saw the ball coming and I kinda just went blank, turned around and saw it trickle in,” he said, “at that point I didn’t know what to think. We just won the game…I didn’t know I could jump that high.”
With the win Fair Haven improves to 4-8. The Slaters return to action Wednesday when they travel to Vergennes