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HCC rains on Howard in OT

November 02, 1999|By DAN KAUFFMAN

On a day better suited for fishing than soccer, P.J. Lyons caught a keeper ... off-guard, that is.

Lyons rolled a shot past Howard goalkeeper Curtis Ingram in the second sudden-death overtime, leading Hagerstown Community College to a 1-0 victory in a Region XX quarterfinal match played in weather conditions resembling a typhoon.

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"Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good," HCC head coach Glen Singer said. "Today, we got lucky."

In the 110th minute of play - five minutes into the second overtime - Lyons won the ball in a crowd from about 40 yards out, and sent a shot skidding across the saturated field.

The ball glanced off of Ingram's hands and slowly rolled to the back of the net as Lyons' teammates mobbed him at the center of the field.

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"We wanted to try to keep shots low, make (Ingram) handle it," Singer said. "We wanted to make the keeper stop it, and see what happens."

Ingram's gaffe turned Lyons into an unlikely star. He had subbed into the game less than two minutes prior to his goal.

"He had missed the last four games ... we had put him in there expecting that the game would go into penalty shots," Singer said. "He took care of it before it got to that."

Before Lyons' goal, the previous 109 minutes of play were taken care of by Mother Nature.

Virtually the entire first half was played in a downpour that wreaked havoc on the field, the players and the few fans brave enough to watch. When the rain died down prior to the second half, the wind started gusting, at one point knocking over the Howard bench.

"I played in a game like this a long time ago," Singer said. "That's part of soccer, you play through the elements."

But the elements made playing almost impossible, as the wind knocked most long balls down and altered shots.

"It took both teams out of their games," Singer said.

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