HOOSICK, N.Y. -- It was fitting the game ended the way it did. As hard as the Hoosick Falls Central School boys soccer team battled against Hoosic Valley under the lights at Ken Baker Field on Senior Night, it made sense that no one came out on the losing end.
Max Haar tied the game with two minutes remaining in regulation and no one could find the back of the net through two 10-minute overtimes as the Panthers and Indians played to a 2-2 draw.
"Tonight was a grind, we know Hoosic Valley always brings it," said senior captain Drew Phillips. "To come from behind twice, that shows a lot about the mental toughness of this team."
Hoosic Valley took a 1-0 lead into the half after John Lucas scored for the Indians five minutes into the contest. After the seniors were honored at halftime, Phillips scored his 19th goal of the year off a free kick after Alex LaBarge was taken down just outside of the box to make it 1-1.
"Max and I worked on free kicks during the offseason, if we can see the goal, we go for it," Phillips said. "I had four or five of those, you know one should go in. I got a good bounce and got it on net."
Pushing for the go-ahead score, Hoosic Valley took advantage off a free kick with 10 minutes left. On a scramble in front, Hoosick Falls goalie Noah Chani ended up out of position and Joe Moore banged home the loose ball to make it 2-1 to give the Indians the momentum.
"We were trying to hold them off, we had thoughts from the last game and we didn't want that again," said Hoosic Valley's Mac Anderson. "We bumped it down in [defense], to not let up any more goals."
But as they've done for much of the season, the Panthers fought back. Shortly after a corner kick went wide, Hoosick Falls got the ball back. Eric Kaufmann made a run and found Haar, who turned, got a touch and fired it past the outstretched fingers of the Hoosic Valley goalie to tie the match at 2 and send the Panthers fans roaring.
"I took a touch, and I knew I could beat the defender," said Haar, who tallied his ninth goal of the year. "I saw the goal and I knew when i hit it, it was going in, that was a real momentum booster for us."
"That's priceless, you have good players on this team, a lot of skills," Phillips added. "In sectionals, you have to grind it out against good teams, like a Hoosic Valley."
Each team had chances in the overtime, with both sides hitting shots just wide or over the net. Hoosick Falls had three chances late in the second overtime that all went begging.
"Both goalies held up good, we didn't tone it down in overtime, both played well," Anderson said. "We have more momentum going into sectionals, it's better to win, but now it's time to dominate Class C."
Hoosick Falls finishes the year 8-3-3 overall, and with only one loss in Wasaren League play. Sectionals begin next week.
"That's the best season in the league I've ever had," Phillips said. "If someone had told me at the beginning of the year, we ‘d have one [league] loss, I would have said it was fantastic. We can play with anyone."