Multiple goal deficits in soccer are nearly impossible to overcome.
South Jones pulled off the nearly impossible Thursday night.
Facing a three-goal deficit through the first 15 minutes of a pivotal Region 5-5A matchup, South Jones scored four unanswered goals to stun Laurel 4-3 ‘Between the Bricks’ in boys soccer.
“I was frustrated with our guys early on,” said Braves head coach Lucas Gleason. “I knew they were better than how they played early on. I think it lit a fire under them when they heard [my frustration].
"We're a good team. We really are. If we decide to play 80 minutes, there's no telling what we could do. We're so much better than what we showed in those first 15 minutes. I'll say this about our guys coming back from a three-goal deficit; it shows heart. At 3-0, it's easy to hang your head. But our guys didn't do that. And credit to Laurel for putting pressure on us early."
The three quick strikes by Laurel played in South’s favor, giving the Braves ample time to settle down and mount a comeback.
"If you're going to mess up, mess up early, so you'll have time to recover," said Gleason. "To relate this to football, it reminds you of that Patriots-Falcons game. If you're going to mess up, mess up in the first half because, in the second, you can always come back.
"And we did that. We did what we needed to do towards the end of the first half to put the game in range so that we could win it in the second half."
After a goal by sophomore midfielder/striker Matt Smith in the 21st minute, senior midfield/strike Jose Gonzalez scored his first of the night under the ten-minute mark to pull the Braves within one, 3-2, before the halfway point.
“I pulled Jose off to the side early,” said Gleason. “We had him playing the middle, but I moved him to the wing position. He ended up being more productive from that spot.
Gonzalez netted the game's equalizer in the 53rd minute when a shot off Laurel's keeper ricocheted his way.
“He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time,” added Gleason.
Junior forward Osvaldo Grimaldo made the comeback complete with his go-ahead goal in the 61st minute.
The win puts South Jones in a better position had the 3-0 lead Laurel built had stood. South Jones goes into the break period, 6-6-1 overall, and, more importantly, 2-1 in Region 5-5A.
"Going 1-2 in the first three games isn't what you want," said Gleason. "So going 2-1 into the Christmas Break gives us time to heal some knicks and bruises. We'll face Laurel again after we come back from the break. Going 2-1 before the break puts the pressure on them (Laurel) and not on us when we meet again. That's big."
The Lady Braves improved to 6-4-1 overall and 2-1 in Region 5-5A with a 6-2 win over the Lady Tornadoes in the game prior.
Senior captain Delaney Cooley led South Jones with her hat-trick, scoring three goals and assisting another. Sophomore Brianna Gray added two goals and an assist.
Freshman Mary Bradley McCardle also scored a goal on a PK in the 56th minute.
Laurel falls to 4-10, and 0-3 in 5-5A.