By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
With just a few minutes left in a big-time district showdown against their biggest rival, the Patriots looked to be in big trouble.
But, even without its top scorer, Model Laboratory found a way to pick up a dramatic victory at home over Madison Central (6-2, 2-1 district).
Jack Frisbie scored with two minutes left in regulation and Marlowe Smith scored on a penalty kick in overtime to give the undefeated Patriots a 2-1 win.
With the victory, Model (8-0, 2-0) all but locks up the top seed for this year’s 44th District Tournament.
“It’s a good result for us because we were without (Andrew) Wylie,” Model coach Steve Savage said. “I said we were playing zombie soccer last. We had an epidemic and I thought we were over it, but they still played like zombies for a bunch of it. So, hopefully we will get to (normal) soon.”
Wylie, who is among the state leaders with 13 goals, got a red card in a win Saturday at Corbin. That penalty comes with a two-game suspension.
Even without Wylie, the Patriots forced overtime, setting the stage for a somewhat controversial calls.
Just three minutes into the extra period, Model’s Noah Valencia ripped a shot that bounced off the leg of Addison McCoy and then hit the hand of the Central defender.
Because McCoy was in the box, the referee called for a penalty shot.
“It was a bogus call,” Central coach Evan Sutherland said. “They know it too. That’s a shot that happened all game. You just don’t call it when the game is on the line. This game is big for both teams.”
Smith, who connected on a game-winning goal in a shootout as a freshman two years ago in the district against Central, ripped a shot into the top left corner past Central keeper Ben Durham.
“He has reputation to hold up,” Savage said of Smith. “So, he had to (connect).”
Both teams had plenty of chances, but no one found the net until there was less than 20 minutes left in regulation.
Central’s Caleb Crutcher took a throw-in from the side and found Tate Renzenbrink in front of the net. The junior ripped a shot past Model keeper Levi Agee with 19:43 left in the second half.
“You’ve got to close it out with two minutes to go,” Sutherland said. “It’s a hard lesson to learn, especially when it ends that way.”
The Patriots kept up the pressure in the final few minutes. They got a corner with just more than two minutes left and Smith lofted the ball into the middle. The ball end up on the right foot of Frisbie, who had just entered the game as a sub a few minutes before that.
“Marlowe hit a great ball,” Savage said. “This is first year that Jack has played for us and that wasn’t his first goal, but that was a pleasant surprise.”
Smith’s goal was his first of the season. Frisbie’s goal was his second of the season.
Model is set to return to action Saturday at home against Kentucky Country Day.
Central is set to return to action Thursday at home against Montgomery County.