SIDNEY – Nicolas Garcia-Ramos scored in double overtime to lift the Franklin Monroe boys soccer team to a 2-1 sectional championship victory over Troy Christian on Tuesday night in Sidney.
“How sweet is that? Came all the way from Spain and gets us a game-winner,” Franklin Monroe coach Danny Diceanu said of Garcia-Ramos, a foreign exchange student. “Put himself in the right spot and picked himself up after being knocked down on a broken play and just put the ball in the back of the net.”
To get the victory, Franklin Monroe had to overcome a tough Troy Christian squad and the cold, rainy conditions that persisted throughout the more than two hours it took to complete the game.
“Guys that are playing are shivering so I can imagine the fans and myself included,” Diceanu said. “It’s pretty cold, but this this kind of warms you up.”
The first 40 minutes were a stalemate with neither team being able to get a goal.
“We possess the ball very well,” Diceanu said. “We did tonight, even with the wind at times. I think possession was probably 60-40, something like that, in our favor. I thought we created most of the chances, good chances. We just didn’t capitalize or finish until the very end.”
But that changed nine-and-a-half minutes into the second half as Andrew Strait scored to put Troy Christian up 1-0.
“We cause our own problems sometimes, and we did that one, too,” Diceanu said. “I wasn’t too concerned because we’ve been down before this year and come back. These boys are pretty resilient. They bounce back.”
Franklin Monroe played from behind for the next 14-plus minutes until senior Britt Bowlin tied the game with 16:02 left on the clock.
“It was clutch,” Diceanu said. “He’s been clutch quite a few times this year. He’s done real well. What can you ask for? You’ve got a senior captain who comes through in the big game. That’s what we expect out of him. He’s been here for four years, going through the program. He knows how to do it, how to handle it.”
Neither team scored again in regulation, and then the teams went into a 15-minute sudden victory period. After the first overtime period also ended in a 1-1 tie, the teams went into a second overtime period.
That’s when Garcia-Ramos scored with 7:44 remaining in the second OT to give Franklin Monroe the 2-1 sectional championship win.
The Jets now advance to play in the district championship against Cincinnati Country Day at 2 p.m. Saturday at Xenia. Franklin Monroe and Cincinnati Country Day played during the regular season, a game Country Day won 4-1.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.