The Eagles of Eastern Christian squared off against the neighbor Falcons of Manchester Regional High School on a beautiful late October afternoon. Eastern Christian took the short hike next door to play at Manchester in a back and forth game that would prove to have a thrilling conclusion.
Falcon’s forward Luis Henriquez opened the scoring for Manchester in the 17th minute of play. Eastern Christian would slowly but surely fight back into the game with a goal off of yet another set piece by senior defender Henry Ruitenberg (assist Jake Veenstra). The 1-1 halftime score was indicative of just how close this contest would be for the duration.
13 minutes into the second half, eagles senior captain Jason Englishmen headed home a ball from Jon Veenstra to put EC into the lead for the first time in the game. But Manchester would fight back just 8 minutes later with a goal from sophomore Danial Betamour.
EC put what appeared to be the game winner in off of a Jason Englishmen penalty kick (set up by a great run and penalty draw by senior Sam Veenstra). But Manchester was again able to come back with a dramatic goal in the final minute of regulation.
It is very difficult to bounce back from a late equalizer like that, but that is precisely what EC did. After a scoreless first 10 minute OT period, the Eagles continued pressing until the game clincher with only 3 minutes left to play. Henry Ruitenberg skyed for a Jason Englishmen Corner Kick and headed the ball into the back of the net for the golden goal winner! It was the Eagles’ second win in as many days, having beaten the Bears of Hawthorne 3-1 yesterday.
Coach Rudi Gesch