Nearly 98 minutes of game time had passed. Several Stuart players had fallen to the ground with muscle cramps. The fourth overtime period neared the two-minute mark as the Raiders tried to dethrone three-time defending champion Yorktown in the National District boys soccer title game.
But that’s when Yorktown’s Andrew Panknen found the back of the net with a golden goal, keeping the Patriots on top of the National District while Stuart players fell to the turf due to agony, rather than injury.
Parkman scored with 2:04 remaining in the fourth overtime period as Yorktown defeated Stuart 2-1 in the district tournament championship game on May 21 at Greenbrier Stadium. The teams appeared on their way to deciding the district crown via penalty kicks, but Panknen, a first-team all-district selection, came through.
"I needed to score. That’s what my team needed me to do," he said. "It’s a great thing to continue tradition."
David Wood, who has won the district title in each of his four seasons as Yorktown head coach, said he told his players to be aggressive and continue taking their chances. Panknen responded with this team-high ninth goal of the season.
"He’s a big, strong, solid kid [with] pretty good feet and [he] can strike the heck out of a ball," Wood said of Panknen. "He gets three to four to five chances a game and most of the time he sticks at least one away. He strikes the ball very well."
Stuart took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute on a goal from Edwin Ramos. Yorktown tied the score on a goal by senior captain Matt Gordon in the 53rd minute. From there, the teams battled into overtime, each just missing several game-winning opportunities.
"I’m exhausted. My legs are killing me. I’m just ready to get my stuff off and get out of here," Gordon said after the game. "It was a tough game and we really showed a lot of pride. We stuck through it the whole time. It was one of the first times all season we’ve been down. We just stuck to it and it showed the character this team has."
Wood said having won the previous three district crowns placed pressure on the Patriots, but past success also worked as a positive.
"Our experience and being in that situation," the coach said, "helped out a lot."
Along with their coach, seniors Matt Highsmith, C.J. Bartholomew, Paul Mosman and Gordon also captured their fourth district title.
Senior midfielder Genta Yuzawa and defender Bartholomew were first-team all-district selections for Yorktown. Defender Highsmith was a second-teamer.