With 3:31 left in the match and the score tied, Southwestern High School senior Mohammed Abd made an acrobatic shot at goal to give the Warriors the dramatic 2-1 boys soccer win over Pulaski County High School on Thursday at the Plains.
From the right sidelines, Southwestern junior Caleb Perrin threw in a perfect pass near the right corner of the keeper's box. With his back to the goal, Abd spun around and connected with the ball for a crossing shot that angled into the left corner of the net for the game winner.
"On sideline throw-ins, we try to play somebody's feet real quick and try to catch the defenses off guard," Southwestern High School boys soccer coach Sean McBride stated. "But sometimes when you throw into traffic, you can get a bounce and get lucky."
"Two guys battled for the ball in the air, and they missed played it," McBride explained. "The ball hits the ground and Mohammed Abd's back was literally towards the goal. He played it over his left shoulder with his right foot and it was perfect. He is a little unconventional as a striker - in how he hits the ball - but he will do that every now and then. It couldn't have came at a more prefect moment in the game tonight."
After a scoreless first half, both county teams started to produce some offense and started attacking the goals in the second half.
Eight minutes into the second half, Southwestern senior Hayden Shadoan nailed a straight-on 30-yard free kick for the first scored of the match. Shadoan, who normally plays up on offense, was moved to center back in Thursday's cross-town soccer match. But the Warriors still used his strong leg for most of their free kicks.
"Hayden is the most skilled player on the field for us, and you want to have one of your more skilled players at center back," McBride stated. "He is just so good keeping everybody organized. It the past two games, it has just been night-and-day."
In the 63rd minute, Pulaski County scored the equalizer to knot the game at 1-1. Sophomore Cohen Stringer laid out a perfect pass to senior Logan Corson, who found the left side of the net from close range.
Pulaski County outshot the Warriors 13 to 9 in the match, but the Warriors got off six shots in the final 40 minutes - with two of those shots finding the nets.
Pulaski County senior Logan Corson had five shot attempts on the night, while Sawyer Gambill had two attempts. Tyson Absher, Henry Gillum, Timothy Brinson and Gabe Rader had one attempt each.
Southwestern senior Hayden Shadoan had four attempts, while Mohammed Abd had two attempts. Ryan Vu, Levi Harris and Michael Beckham had one attempt each.
"For us to come back to battle like we did, get scored on, not put our heads down, hang in there and fight back -- with this group of inexperienced kids, it makes me proud of them," McBride said.
Southwestern (7-4-1) will host Corbin High School on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Pulaski County (5-2-3) will host Somerset High School on Monday, Sept. 20.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.