Late goal lifts Grand Forks Red River to a 2-2 against Fargo Davies in EDC boys soccer
Gannon Brooks scores two goals, including a free kick with 14 seconds left, to give the Riders the tie
With 14 seconds left in the game, Gannon Brooks made the play of the game for Grand Forks Red River once again. This time it was a free-kick goal clinching a 2-2 tie against Fargo Davies, the No. 1 team in the Eastern Dakota Conference.
The teams went toe-to-toe in the first 10 minutes, but the Roughriders had difficulty opening up the field for Brooks. Soon both sides were shutting down all threats past the 20-yard marker.
“There was a lot more confidence than the first time we played them,” Red River coach Luke Glasoe said. “The score before didn’t really reflect how well we played that game.”
In their previous matchup this season, the Eagles were victorious in a 3-1 match in Fargo back in August. It would be the start of a seven-game winning streak for the Eagles that ended Tuesday.
A generous flow of rain at 25 minutes in the first half would begin to loosen play a bit and present an even bigger challenge when it came to controlling possession. This came into play when a low Davies free-kick from the 30 slipped out of the grasp of goalkeeper Noah Burger, but Red River avoided any danger.
But as the rain came down and the opening half drew on, Red River pushed Davies last line of defense. It was Ahmed Hassan that finally broke down the Eagle defense when he was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty shot for Brooks.
“You work so hard to try to get the ball to that dangerous part of the field, so the more likely you get the ball to that area the more likely you’ll draw a penalty,” said Glasoe, foreshadowing the final seconds of the game.
The senior converted and gave the Roughriders a 1-0 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the first half.
Shortly after the goal, the rain subsided, but the Cushman pitch remained slick. Through the end of the half, players adjusted to the speed of the ball off the turf.
“It was just unfortunate. We had to stop play a bit there for about 30 seconds, but other than that it was okay,” Glasoe said.
The Roughriders kept the intensity up to open the second half. Wyatt Huus just missed a fading cross-shot in the opening five minutes and Brooks could not connect on a free-kick at the top of the keeper’s box.
The Eagles' offense was pushed to their wings, but Sam Saye, Bill Mukundiyee and Savey Jones certainly made it difficult for Red River defenders. The two forwards and midfielder came up just short from making a play to the middle on multiple occasions, but could not find the redirection they needed.
Davies got the break it needed with 26 minutes left in the second half. On a long free-kick, Burger took a little too much of Patrick Lawrence in the air and was given a yellow card. The infraction took place in the box, setting up Lawrence with a penalty kick with Brady Price subbed in for Burger.
Lawrence knotted the score at 1-1.
“We had some bad breaks. Just the way things went there for a bit it was unfortunate, but we needed to keep fighting and we didn’t give up on it,” said Glasoe.
The Eagles picked up the pace soon after and began to click. Lawrence sent a long cross to Jones, who then settled it down and patiently out-waited everyone for a clear look at Burger and put Davies up 2-1.
Red River failed to push back offensively after that first Davies goal. As the minutes went by, there were small flashes of creativity, but the speed showcased in the first half was not there.
Then, with 14 seconds left, Hassan came up clutch with his aggression a second time. A foul just outside the box set up a free kick for Brooks, similar to the one he had earlier in the half. Brooks rocketed his second goal of the game to the top left corner of the net and tied the score 2-2.
“Gannon Brooks is very good at soccer,” Glasoe said through a smile. “With the last little bit, the fact he was able to stay that composed and finish the ball was incredible.”
While Davies, still undefeated this year, cements itself as the number one team in the conference, Red River now moves to 8-2-2 in EDC play and is building confidence after taking the Eagles to distance on Tuesday night.
The Roughriders stay at Cushman for their final two regular-season matches, with the second half of the Cushman Cup on Thursday and a finale against West Fargo Sheyenne next week.