Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-From an outsider’s perspective, it didn’t take a professional soccer player to figure out which team was more skilled in this postseason contest. But it took a full 40 minutes and then some for it to finally pay off.
Sophomore Gilberto Tovar’s goal in overtime secured a 3-2 Buffs win over Lawrence Free State in their 6A-playoff opener at Buffalo Stadium Tuesday afternoon.
“I kept telling my players that I was open,” Tovar said afterwards. “They told me they would find me and make it happen; they did.”
But Garden City would never have seen overtime if it wasn’t for Eric Barragan. The junior’s penalty kick in the 61st minute tied the game 2-2 just minutes after PJ Budenbender gave the Firebirds a one-goal advantage.
In overtime, the Buffs escaped a couple of scares deep in their own end before Barrigan found Tovar for the game winner in the 84th minute.
The win sets up a second-round match-up with Dodge City, who beat Haysville 7-1.
“We have to win there,” Tovar said. “It’s about revenge now.”
Next up: Garden City at Dodge City-Thursday; 5 p.m.
Otero, CO defeats Garden City 13-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-17, 16-4
Next up: at Seward County-Tuesday-Region VI playoffs