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Eastern Christian High School’s first “Community Night” of the season was well worth the wait. Playing Hawthorne HS under the lights at Willow Field, the Eagles snatched victory in the dying seconds of the game on sophomore Clay Sietsma’s first goal of the year. The large crowd in attendance erupted as the Eagles claimed their second victory of the week.
After a hard-fought, but scoreless first half, senior captain Jason Englishmen again “Bent it like Beckham” on a free kick over the Hawthorne wall and into the back of the net. The 47th minute goal put EC in the driver’s seat, but Hawthorne would soon respond. In the 65th minute, Arotion Mimini finally beat the Eagles’ offside line, and bent a shot into the upper right hand corner of the EC net. The ball went off of the post and in for the equalizer.
The remainder of the second half was a back-and-forth battle as both teams pushed for the go-ahead goal. Clay Sietsma’s winner in the last minute of regulation came off of a Henry Ruitenberg assist and made certain that the two teams would not face extra time.
It was another outstanding effort for the EC defense, led by senior goalie Josh Groenewal, who finished the night with 7 saves including several at extremely close range. The back four defenders and central defensive midfielder Kyle Dykstra played a phenominal defensive game and drew double-digit offsides from the Hawthorne attack.