Long Beach, CA- Playing with just 10 men after twenty minutes into the match, Hope International went toe to toe with Marymount College into overtime on Wednesday afternoon. Senior Matthew Howard ended the 1-0 HIU win less than three minutes into overtime with the golden goal of the match.
The first twenty minutes of the match looked pretty even on paper with two shots on goal apiece. However, the Royals (3-0) were actually controlling the tempo and looked like the more dangerous team as evident by their three corner kicks in the first twenty minutes.
But their advantage went away in the 21st minute when Senior Zach Hoffer lost his mind and blatantly took out one of the Mariners (1-1) from behind. Hoffer was given a straight red for his actions and HIU was forced to play with ten men the final seventy plus minutes of the contest.
To their credit, the Royals did anything but fold their tents. In fact, over the next ten minutes Sophomore Shahram Aghayousef and Howard with two shots were the only players to get a shot off.
Despite being outshot 5-3 the rest of the half, the Royals' backline of Junior Juan-Carlos Rodriguez and Sophomores Zachary Williams, Mario Perez, and Sean Toth (making his Royals' debut) did not allow a shot that was extremely dangerous. Their play was a big factor in the contest all day.
The scoreboard still read zeroes at the break.
After the half, the shooting by both teams was not extremely dangerous as they combined for just seven shots in the second period with just one of those shots on frame. Senior goalkeeper Jhovany Hernandez was up to the task to make the save on that one shot.
Howard had arguably the best scoring chance with just seconds left in regulation when he got in behind Marymount's defense and delivered a shot just wide of the post.
In the overtime session, the first two minutes and 45 seconds was really uneventful. But HIU got the game winning break they needed about ten seconds later when a Marymount defender tripped up a Hope International attacker in the box and the Royals were awarded a penalty kick.
Howard lined up for the penalty kick and drilled a low flying rocket toward the right side of the goal. Marymount goalkeeper Christols Voglis diving to his left made the save on the kick but left a live ball rebound. Howard followed his shot and buried the game winner into the back of the net.
The golden goal of the match was Howard's fifth of the season.
The Royals have just two days before they see the playing field again. On Friday, they will travel Orange to meet up with Chapman University. Kick-off is slated for 5:00 pm.