Area Boys Soccer: Morrison’s goal with 21 seconds left give Flyers the victory
LITTLE FALLS — WIth 21 seconds left and the scored tied 1-1, Little Falls Flyers’ senior captain Alex Loukinen had his shot saved by the right hand of Melrose goalkeeper Maxwell Lurken-Tvrdik.
The deflection found the foot of Flyers’ defenseman Tauer Morrison who then found the back of the net to give Little Falls a 2-1 win over the Melrose Dutchman Thursday, Oct. 1, in a Granite Ridge Conference match.
“I wanted to finish the game strong,” Morrison said. “Alex had a nice shot, the goalie made a save and I was just there to put it in. Just in the right place at the right time.”
The Flyers scored two goals in the second half after trailing at half.
“We were finding feet in the second half,” Little Falls head coach Chris Backhaus said. “We moved some guys around in that second half and put them in different positions to get some different looks to generate some offense. We had plenty of chances we just were not able to bury any until the last 21 seconds to get that second goal.”
The game-winning goal marked the second goal scored by the Flyers in the final 15 minutes to complete their comeback win.
“We stacked four guys on the backline, so as we were transitioning back defensively, I sent Jeremy (Hintz) and Alex up top just so we could try and push that counter attack,” Backhaus said of the last play. “We got a heck of a ball from the goalkeeper coming out and we ended up getting the first touch that we needed and those guys ended up bringing it home.”
Aggressiveness was a key for the Flyers coming in, and their aggression benefited them on the game-winning goal.
“Before the game, my coach told me to just put shots on net,” Lourkinen said. “So as I was going down there, I just wanted to put the ball on net and if he makes a save, Tauer will be there for the rebound. And he was.”
Melrose got on the board first with 13:22 remaining in the first half. Kevin Martinez scored off an assist from Rudy Munoz.
Trailing 1-0, Little Falls’ halftime adjustments proved to be the difference.
“What we talked about at halftime was just to calm down and get back to the fundamentals,” Backhaus said. “Really just to control what we can control.”
Little Falls’ Jeremy Hintz, who was called up from the junior varsity this week, found the back of the net at the 15:14 mark of the second half. The equalizer was set up by Flyers’ attacker Riley Perry, who tallied the assist.
“We pulled some guys up after our 1-0 loss to Zimmerman,” Backhaus said. “We just wanted to get some different looks and some different combinations. Pulling guys up like Jeremy can provide a spark of speed and some different touches overall. Also, it puts the other starters on notice that their position isn’t safe.”
The Flyers’ defense allowed five shots on goal, with Little Falls goalkeeper Ben Rekstad notching four saves.
“We put some guys in there that would not necessarily start on defense, and trusted they would hold the line against Melrose’s attacks,” Backhaus said. “It ended up working out. So those guys did a heck of a job in the back.”
Morrison said forcing Melrose to the outside limited the Dutchmen’s chances in the second half.
“We forced them to cross deep and right to our guys which was nice,” Morrison said.
Little Falls has one last game on its schedule against Minnewaska Tuesday, Oct. 6, before it heads into sections.
“We had a speed-of-play practice indoors in preparation for playing on turf next week at Minnewaska,” Backhaus said. “As well as just getting a little different look than we are used to. I’m looking forward to seeing these guys competing and continuing to grind.”
Melrose 1 0 — 1
Little Falls 0 2 — 2
First half: M-Kevin Martinez (Rudy Munoz) 13:22
Second half: LF-Jeremy Hintz (Riley Perry) 15:14, LF-Tauer Morrison (Alex Loukinen) 0:21
Shots on goal: LF 15, M 5
Goalkeepers: LF-Ben Rekstad (4 saves); M-Maxwell Lurken-Tvrdik (13 saves)
Little Falls 2, Melrose 1
Key: Flyers score go-ahead goal with 21 seconds left to complete a comeback win over the Dutchman
Conference: LF 5-4, M 1-7.
Overall: LF 5-4, M 1-7.
Next: Little Falls at Minnewaska 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.