Calling a shot from well outside the box a golden opportunity is a bit of a stretch.
But when Alejandro Cabrera’s laser cross from long range banged off the crossbar only seconds into the second half of Thursday’s game with visiting Shawnee Heights, the Seaman senior forward had to wonder if he would get another chance as good as that one.
“You never know,” he said. “I just kept trying to push myself and push myself and hope I could get one through.”
When opportunity knocked again later in the half, Cabrera cashed in. Not just once, but twice. His header with just more than 20 minutes to play tied the game 2-2 and his sliding shot with 4:17 left was the game-winner as Seaman improved to 4-0 with a 3-2 win over the T-Birds.
It was a 1-1 game at halftime and remained that way until Heights took the lead at the 20:23 mark of the second half. Isaiah Wilson banged home a go-ahead goal after a series of deflections off a corner kick.
Whatever momentum the goal gave Heights, however, it quickly disappeared.
On the ensuing kickoff, Seaman got a lob kick toward the goal that Cabrera and Heights goalkeeper Tyler Loy both went up for. Loy headed the ball in midair, but it went behind him and Cabrera was there, heading home the loose ball into an open net for a tying score just 16 seconds after Heights had taken the lead.
The quick answer was huge for the Vikings.
“There was a desire that they tapped into that was nice to see,” said Seaman assistant coach Brie Ray, who was filling in for head coach Craig Rocastle, whose wife had a baby on Thursday. “We’ve been talking for weeks and weeks about playing with a fire and sometimes you have to have that lit and respond and that’s what they did.”
The goal lit a fire under Seaman and at the same time was a bit deflating for the T-Birds. They got a handful of looks in the final 20 minutes, but couldn’t convert.
“We’re just young and we don’t make very good decisions sometimes,” Heights coach Stephen Loy said. “We didn’t quite understand that that was an important part of the game and they’d been building up to drop that long ball behind and it caught us flat.”
Heights dodged one go-ahead goal when Cadin Worcester’s breakaway shot went right to Loy for the easy save. But when Cabrera broke from just more than a minute later, he found the right corner of the net for the game-winner.
“I just felt it and it came to me,” Cabrera said. “I was there at the right time and it could have been anybody.”
Seaman struck first in the opening half as Jeron Poteete corralled a rebound of his own shot and put it home. Heights answered with 2:46 left in the half on a goal by Cole Unfred.
Before Wilson’s go-ahead goal in the second half, the T-Birds had two big chances to bury the Vikings. But Jonathan Jasso sent a contested shot wide on an open goal and moments later Seaman defenseman Nathan Brewer made a goal-saving header on a T-Bird shot at another open goal.
Shawnee Heights … 1 … 1 … — … 2
Seaman … 1 … 2 … — … 3
Goals — Heights: Unfred, Wilson; Seaman: Poteete, Cabrera 2. Assists — Heights: Villa; Seaman: Wildeman, Worcester.
Records — Shawnee Heights, 3-2; Seaman, 4-0.