The last seconds of regulation may have been a first for many in attendance at Tuesday's York-Adams League boys' soccer semifinal clash between Dallastown and Central York.
Just not for Wildcat head coach Jim Reinalda.
With about 10 seconds left at Northeastern, and Dallastown holding a one-goal lead, the Panthers put up a furious last-chance effort. A shot by Central's Oze Navat was deflected by Wildcat goalie Tyler Urbaniak (two saves) over the end line. That set up a quick rush for a corner kick that eventually found Navat's right-foot. The Panther midfielder then sent a shot just inside the post as time expired to even up the contest, 3-3.
It marked the second time that Reinalda was coaching a Dallastown team that gave up a last-second tally. Ironically enough, that contest also happened at Northeastern, and, even more ironically, was in the same net at the north end of the field.
The only difference this time was that the Wildcats would still walk off the field a winner.
Midway through the first overtime, senior Jake Mitchell was able to knock in a rebound shot past Central goalie Chris Snowadsky (seven saves) to give Dallastown a thrilling 4-3 triumph.
The Wildcats (17-3) secured a berth in the league finals opposite South Western, a 3-0 winner over Susquehannock in the other semifinal at Spring Grove. The title contest is set for 7:30 Thursday night at Susquehannock High School.
"I just kind of slipped, saw the ball and put it in," Mitchell said of his game-winning shot. "It hit (the goalie's) arm and just kind of slid and I kicked it in with my left foot."
The outcome prevented what would have been a heart-breaking loss for the Division I champions, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit with seven minutes left. Their comeback was fueled by Jonathan Dadeboe's tying goal with 6:45 left off a feed from Tim Foust.
"That was a big one," Reinalda said.
With the game seemingly headed for overtime, the Wildcats took the lead with 1:42 left when Josh Righter ripped a 25-yard laser into the upper part of the net to put Dallastown ahead 3-2.
Righter's rocket is something that the Dallastown senior is becoming known for this year after he earned a similar tally earlier in the season.
"He scored one of the best high-school goals that I've ever seen at Suburban," Reinalda said. "He cracked the ball from about the same ... it was way out. Now that ball wasn't a line-drive screamer, but it was in. And I tell our backs, 'if you get the opportunity, crack it.' Those go in. It's a big goal and it's a lot for the goalie to cover."
Then came a very frantic final-minute push from the Panthers. That surge appeared to come up short when Navat's shot trickled over the end line with 10 seconds left. As Reinalda knew from past experience, however, it's not over until the final horn sounds.
"It was maybe 1999 or 2000, and we had Carlisle here," Reinalda said. "It was tied and we were walking off the field with three seconds left and we thought it was going to overtime. But this kid kicks it and it went in. So I've seen that before. It was here ... and it was at the same goal."
Mitchell, a first-year starter for the Wildcats, said that Navat's remarkable goal didn't deflate his team one bit.
"It actually got us pumped up," he said. "And it got them pumped up. I think, as a team, we wanted to work together and win this game so badly."
The victory also broke a tie in the season series between the two rivals after Dallastown won the first matchup 5-1 before Central claimed a 5-2 victory in the final regular-season contest.
Navat scored the first goal of the game in the sixth minute before the Wildcats evened it on Edward Bills' goal six minutes later. Kyle Smith gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission after ripping his team's second shot on goal into the net with just more than 12 minutes left in the first half.
Dallastown held an 11-5 edge in shots on goal, while Central finished with three corners to the Wildcats' two.
OTHER BOYS' SOCCER
SOUTH WESTERN 3, SUSQUEHANNOCK 0: At Spring Grove, the Mustangs punched their ticket to the championship match with an impressive victory over South Western.
Scott Hess, David Penarrieta and Justin Zinneman had South Western's goals, while Andrew Slater had an assist.
Adam Alton made four saves to record the shutout in goal. Dan Snyder had two saves for Susquehannock.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.