Parkview, the fourth-seeded team from Region 8-AAAAA, is now among the eight teams remaining in the Class AAAAA boys soccer tournament.
The Panthers (11-9) notched their second consecutive upset with a 2-1 win at Wheeler Wednesday in the second round, and advanced to the state quarterfinals to play Tift County this Saturday.
Parkview had to come from behind to win.
Goalkeeper Jack Falle had to come back, too. After making about a half-dozen saves to start the game — including a shot he had to punch over the goal in the opening minute — he came out of a corner to catch the ball but was beaten to the ball by Wheeler’s Kevin Osorio, who headed it into the back of the net for a 1-0 Wheeler lead with 10 minutes left in the half. It was a rare mental mistake for Falle, who was otherwise outstanding throughout the game.
Parkview refused to give up and continued to press Wheeler. The Wildcats had dominated the first half but took a defensive stance once they scored. It was a mistake for them to relax because Parkview kept inching closer and closer.
Parkview’s Pete Charter had a shot that was curling into the top left corner of the goal when Wheeler’s goalie outstretched hand tipped the ball over the bar.
With two minutes left Parkview drew even.
Raymond Muro made a spectacular volley shot from 30 yards out. His one-touch mid-air volley flew up and then dipped down, past the goalie’s outstretched hands, and into the top right corner of the goal. Muro and the crowd were stunned by the spectacular goal.
“Even I was surprised,” he said. “I didn’t expect to score from there, being on the left side of the field when I usually play right. I just can’t explain it.”
No explanations were needed as Parkview tied the game 1-1.
It was an important goal at a crucial time. It created good vibes on Parkview’s bench during halftime even with the game tied.
Parkview came out the half with just as much vigor with a goal in the opening minute of the second half.
Parkview’s Jose Diaz gave a through-pass from midfield to Jonathan Jarrett, who raced by the defenders to collect the ball and calmly netted the game-winner for Parkview.
“It felt so good to score the game-winner,” said Jarrett. Parkview went up 2-1.
Parkview’s Charter had a chance to widen the lead just 10 minutes later when he narrowly missed a golden opportunity. Sammy Korgi provided a perfect cross to Charter in the box, who was all alone with the keeper. Charter collected the ball, took a step back and curled the shot past the right post.
The seniors for Parkview dictated much of the game. C.J. Ciarlante and Santiago Gubitosi were creating havoc for the back four of Wheeler the entire match. Their quick runs and fast decisions on the ball allowed Parkview to retain control most of the game.
Panther keeper Falle remained on the field the last 15 minutes of the game after suffering a back injury that was clearly bothering him. He struggled to punt the ball and dive for the saves.
Parkview continues its unexpected run after finishing in fourth place in Region 8. The Panthers are finally firing on all cylinders and playing as a team rather than a group of individuals.
“When the playoffs started, I didn’t expect to get so far.” Jarrett continued, “I think everyone has underestimated us. If we continue to work together we have a good chance to get past the next round.”