The wind was at her back and Celeste Cummins let rip.
It didn’t look good – or so she thought.
With the girls soccer game tied at 2 between her William Chrisman Bears and Truman Patriots, Cummins had a direct free kick from 38 yards out in double overtime. She blasted it and the ball rainbowed over the head of Truman goalkeeper Jessica Curtis, just under the crossbar and in to give Chrisman a 3-2 non-conference victory Thursday at Truman High School.
Bears head coach John Straub said Cummins was the one he wanted to take the shot because of her strong leg. And with the assist from the wind, the sophomore put in the game-winner.
“I knew she has the leg to make that,” Chrisman coach John Straub said. “The wind was at her back, which helped, and that shot was beautiful.”
The Bears midfielder was shocked that her kick found a way to the back of the net.
“I thought that was going to go over,” Cummins said. “I had no idea that was going in.”
Chrisman (2-0) recovered from a slow start in the first half in which it was outshot 12-3 (8-2 on goal). The Bears then flipped the script in the second half, holding a 5-4 advantage in shots (4-0 on goal).
It was partly a mental change that caused the turnaround, with an assist from the wind blowing north, where the Truman goal sat on the field.
“I think we just had it in our heads that we weren’t going to lose,” Bears forward Tierra Lopez said. “We just needed to push through it and take it home.”
The Bears also had some fortune on their side when a Truman player accidentally booted the ball in her own goal to give Chrisman an early 1-0 lead in the first half.
Truman took advantage of the wind after the miscue. After a foul occurred on the Chrisman side of the field, Katie Black was set up for a 37-yard direct free kick for the Patriots (1-2). She drilled it over the head of Chrisman freshman goalkeeper Karina Vela to tie the game at one midway through the first half.
In the 28th minute, the Patriots took the lead when Charley Burton sent a rocket from the left wing, which Vela drove and made the stop. However that led to a loose ball near the right post and Addy Simpson flew in to put in the rebound to give her team a a 2-1 edge.
When Chrisman got the wind advantage, its offense came together. Tierra Lopez, a reserve forward, got a long pass from Kayli Perez, fended off a Truman defender on her hip, and booted one from the top of the penalty box that slipped through Curtis’ legs to tie it 2-2 in the 50th minute.
Chrisman had a couple of chances stopped by Curtis in overtime before Cummins scored the game-winner.
“I thought we didn’t play very well with or without the wind,” Truman coach Manny Tovar said. “We didn’t take advantage when we had the wind. I told them before the game to make sure we had a lot of shots and make sure they are on target, and we didn’t do that very well tonight.”
Added Straub: “It was not a pretty game by either team, but it was one of those tough games you have in the second week of the season.”