FREEDOM PLAINS – With injuries mounting on Byram Hills’ front line, senior Brandon Drossman was called on to make his first start of the season in Sunday’s Class A final at Arlington High.
A converted defender, Drossman was being counted on to contribute offensively with star striker Bennett Kramer out due to a hamstring injury.
He delivered in a big way.
Drossman scored twice in the fourth-seeded Bobcats’ 3-2 overtime win against No. 11 Yorktown, including the golden goal in the 84th minute to give them their fifth title in nine years and first since 2010.
“It’s the sectional final and there’s no bigger stage, so I took my chances when they came to me,” Drossman said. “(Coach Matty Allen said), ‘Just leave everything out there. If this is going to be your last game, you might as well work as hard as you can.’ ”
The Bobcats (15-5) were sitting on a 2-1 lead with just six minutes remaining in regulation when Marcello Spiniello found Joseph Landicino for the equalizer, sending the game to overtime.
“You keep a straight face, but that’s devastating to know that you’re (six) minutes away and for them to equalize like that,” Byram Hills senior defender Ross Weinfeld said. “Just like in the beginning of the game, we brought ourselves together and kept our heads. We tried to do the same thing.”
Spiniello, who had to pick up some of the scoring slack for the Huskers (11-9-1) with fellow forward Mohamed Hamza nursing a hamstring injury, had given Yorktown a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute.
“(Spiniello) is quick and so skilled, and he was a nightmare,” Weinfeld said. “And then they threw in their star (Mohamed Hamza) at the end, and we just knew we had a crazy front line to deal with. They were a challenge.”
“I really couldn’t get a foot on it,” Drossman said of the rebound. “So I just kind of threw my body at it and pushed it in the net.”
Byram Hills’ Ben Weinstein had a goal waved off due to an offside call in the 62nd minute, but Indra Neil Dan gave the Bobcats a 2-1 lead four minutes later.
Landicino tied it to keep Yorktown’s hopes alive, but Drossman turned out to be the hero, giving Allen his fifth title in dramatic fashion.
“Ben Weinstein hit it to the middle of the box, and my back was to the goal,” Drossman said of the golden goal. “I couldn’t really turn or do anything else, so I just back-healed it and hoped for the best. And it dribbled right in the net.”
“A month ago, we were 5-5, and we’ve won 10 in a row with a sectional title,” Allen said. “We played like brothers today, covering for one another and never getting down, regardless of what we were up against. They rallied when their captain (Kramer) went down with an injury, and our bench rose to the occasion.
“Before the game, we read a letter from (2014 graduate) Sam Ganeles, who said, ‘Play for your brothers, but win it for your community.’ ”