Brady Mason's last-minute goal on a penalty kick on Tuesday gave the North Platte High School boys' soccer team a 4-3 win over Gering in the season-opener at Madison Middle School.New NPHS coach Danny Whitney said that it was definitely a memorable ending for his first game.
"I guess we started out with a high level of excitement," Whitney said. "I am super proud of how we played and how we finished. It was a typical first game where there were some things I was happy about and there were some things we need to work on."
North Platte struck first when Mason scored on a breakaway to give the Dawgs a 1-0 lead in the first half.
Christian Bradley then followed with another goal that was set up by a throw-in and NPHS had a 2-0 lead.
But Gering (0-2) established themselves with a goal to get on the board. But on the ensuing kickoff, David Garcia launched one down the field and it caught Gering goalie Dylan Wetherington off guard as it went past him and into the net for a 3-1 lead.
"I am proud of the fact that we seized our opportunities but I also knew that Gering wasn't going to go away and that they were going to have some opportunities also," Whitney said.
The Bulldogs from the panhandle did take advantage of those opportunities in the second half. Gering opened by knocking in a penalty kick and then they scored the game-tying goal shortly thereafter.
Both teams battled and it appeared that the game was heading for a shootout as the sun was setting. But with about a minute left, Mason was tackled in the goal box and a penalty kick was awarded.
Wetherington guessed right and he got his hands on Mason's shot. But the senior forward for NPHS still powered it through and the Dawgs went ahead 4-3.
"He's been putting them in at practice and he's been a big leader for us," Whitney said of Mason.
North Platte almost added another goal for good measure as it continued to attack as a shot by Nick Wilkinson hit the crossbar of the goal. But Mason's goal was enough for NPHS as the final whistle blew a few seconds later.