DOVER — With overtime looming, Spencer Shrader took matters into his own hands Friday night.
The senior striker scored on a rebound of his own shot with 32 seconds remaining to lift Newsome to a 2-1 victory over Plant City in the Class 5A, District 6 boys soccer final at Strawberry Crest.
"We knew we had to play with high intensity for 80 minutes," Newsome coach Allan Ware said. "They are the best side we’ve played. We had to pressure everywhere and stay with them. That was the biggest thing."
The result was a reversal of their regular-season meeting: a 2-1 victory by Plant City (14-1).
"We 100 percent expected this kind of game," Plant City coach Caleb Roberts said. "It was the same kind of game as the last time. They came out from the get go and pressured us really hard. But they kept it up this time, which last time they weren’t able to do."
The district title is Newsome’s fourth in five seasons. Plant City earned the title last year. On Wednesday, Newsome (13-4-3) will play host to Timber Creek in a region quarterfinal while Plant City will travel to Winter Park.
Elvis Castro converted a penalty kick in the 51st minute that drew the Raiders even at 1-1. Plant City, which was slowly gaining the advantage in possession in the second half, picked up the pace. Despite gaining the better of play over the next 20 minutes, no more Plant City goals came. And Newsome had the two best scoring opportunities in the stretch.
Play balanced out over the last 10 minutes with both teams mounting scoring threats in an attempt to avoid overtime.
In the final minute, Shrader set up in a defensive seam at the 18 yard line as the ball was played forward. He settled a pass off his chest, turned and got a step on a defender. Plant City goalie David Jalumo smothered Shrader’s shot but couldn’t prevent a rebound, which bounced right to Shrader in stride, who tapped the ball into the open net.
The goal was the second of the night for Shrader. He scored in the 24th minute on a header near the right post off a crossing pass. The goal was set up by a corner kick. Although Newsome couldn’t get a shot off, Plant City failed to fully clear the ball, setting up another cross that found Shrader.