Five different Eagles scored goals, and with eight minutes left in regulation, it appeared that Trinity Baptist College would end the over-two-year-long winning streak of the Florida College Falcons. However, a game-tying goal from the opposition forced overtime, and neither team could knock in the winning score, ending the exciting back-and-forth game in a 5-5 tie.
The Eagles never trailed, but they also never led by more than one goal. Every time Trinity took the lead, the Falcons came back to tie it up.
NAIA/USCAA Florida College has not lost a regular-season game since 2015.
Trinity’s Angelo Fernandez scored the game’s first goal on a header when he received a beautiful cross pass from Joseph Nava at the 20-minute mark of the first half. With the score tied at 1, Nava put Trinity ahead in Minute 31. Seven minutes before the half, Nasier Guanipa gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead that they took into the intermission.
Less than a minute into the second half, Florida College’s Krist Berisha scored the second of his three goals on the afternoon to tie the game at 3-3. Berisha also scored his team’s first goal in Minute 27, and fellow Falcon Groutchov Pierre tied it up at 2-2 in Minute 35.
Fourteen minutes after Trinity’s Hakeem Bethelmy put the Eagles back in the lead at 4-3 nearly midway into the second half, Bersiha benefited from a tripping foul called inside the box and converted the penalty kick for the game-tying goal with 11 minutes left in regulation. The two teams traded goals in the next four minutes with Gabriel Zaffiro scoring for the Eagles and Zach Miller hitting the goal that knotted it up again and forced overtime.
Neither team could penetrate the opposition’s defense well enough to get off a potential game-ending shot in either of the two 10-minute extensions. Both defenses held strong for the extra 20 minutes, and the game ended in a 5-5 tie.
Goalkeepers Kyle Aultman of Trinity Baptist and Carlos Contreras of Florida College saved four shots each, and both — with the help of tight defense — stepped up in the waning moments of regulation to keep the opposing offenses from scoring the game-winning goal.
The Eagles have a week off before taking the field again on Saturday, September 8, when they will host Webber International University at 2:00 p.m. EDT. At 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 10, Trinity will host Point University before heading to Orlando to face Rollins College on September 14.
–Raymond Bureau, TBC Athletics