Prep Boys Soccer: Gallagher’s PK in 82nd minute lifts Poway High over Rancho Bernardo
By Michael Bower
Kellen Gallagher was a freshman last year when the Poway High boys soccer team peppered the Rancho Bernardo net for an entire match only to give up a goal in the 79th minute and lose a stunner, 1-0.
This year, Gallagher helped turn the tables on the Broncos.
The team leader in goals delivered a score on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute, lifting the Titans to a 1-0 victory over rival Rancho Bernardo in a Palomar League match Friday night at Poway High School.
“Last year, we had a lot of shots and couldn’t finish them off,” said Gallagher, who now has six goals on the season. “It was great to get this win.”
The sophomore fired the penalty kick to the lower-left corner and it easily found the back of the net, as the Rancho Bernardo keeper went the opposite direction.
“I picked my spot coming up and I just went with it,” Gallagher said. “I didn’t change my mind or anything. There was a little pressure, but you just have to relax and do the best you can.”
The goal led to an enormous roar from the several brave fans in the stands, which sat through a steady rainfall for the entire 83-minute thriller.
Gallagher took the penalty kick after a foul was called on Rancho Bernardo about five yards inside the top of the box. Santiago Bedoya had come down with a loose ball, but a Broncos defender came down on his back and knocked him to the ground.
“You hate to win it that way, but the referee had to call it,” Poway coach Gene Morris said. “(Santiago) had the ball at his feet and had a good chance to score.”
The win combined with Westview’s loss to Mt. Carmel gives the Titans a firm grip on first place in the Palomar League. Poway (3-0-1 Palomar League) is up three points on the Sundevils (2-1-1) and six points on the Wolverines (1-1-1). The Titans will complete their first round of league play against Westview on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, it was a tough one to swallow for the Broncos (1-3-0). Rancho Bernardo had a chance to get back into the thick of things in the Palomar League with a win.
The Broncos had their chances, as they ripped off seven shots in the second half – three in the final 10 minutes. But Poway goalkeeper Spencer Orr made some great stops en route to his third straight shutout.
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