Clapier’s golden goal puts Layton over Syracuse, causes chaos atop Region 1
SYRACUSE — The buildup burgeoning around the Layton High versus Syracuse girls soccer game Tuesday boiled down to this:
A Layton win would result in a three-team tie for the Region 1 championship with one game remaining, while a Syracuse victory would give the Titans at least a share of the title.
Seldom is the time when a game lives up to the hype. This one did.
Layton junior Jersee Clapier scored a golden goal deep into the first overtime and the Lancers created chaos at the top with a sudden-death, 3-2 cliffhanger conquest of Syracuse, splitting the season series.
“I was getting scared at first (of the overtime) because I literally didn’t know I’d get the ball, but in the end, I just felt I should give it my all because there wasn’t much time left and I wanted to beat Syracuse,” Clapier said.
She beat two Titan defenders that had position between her and the net down the left sideline to score the stunning, game-ending goal.
“I just used my speed, and my right foot; it was definitely a toe poke,” Clapier said. “I was worried because it was just me and the goalkeeper at that point, but I had good placement on it, in the far-right corner.”
Syracuse twice led in regulation before Layton pulled even in each half so, when Clapier scored with 3:02 left in overtime, it meant that Layton never held the lead through 86 minutes, 58 seconds, yet still won the game.
Layton (9-6, 8-3 Region 1) coach Tara Ferrin and Syracuse (11-5, 8-3) mentor Taylor Allen had diametrically different approaches to the showdown with so much on the line.
“I didn’t tell them a single thing about placement; we were just focused on the next game,” Ferrin said. “The thing is, Syracuse beat us at our place and our goal was to beat Syracuse. We knew they were at the top, but I didn’t mention anything about where we were.”
Allen, on the other hand, felt his team got caught up in the gravity of the game.
“I think the girls felt the pressure of the region title and it looked like it a little bit, 100%. We definitely wanted that outright title,” Allen said. “I’m not one of those coaches who’s obtuse about where they’re at in the standings. We knew the winner would be No. 1.”
Abby Affleck scored a brace for Syracuse, giving the Titans an early lead in each half, with goals in the fifth minute and 42nd minute of the game. She was assisted on both goals by Cortney Cobabe.
But Layton was resilient, tying the game in the 24th minute on a goal by Clapier and sending it into overtime tied 2-2 on a score by Reese Robinson in the 61st minute.
“At our place, once they tied it, we got down,” Ferrin said. “Here we just kept our heads up. We were confident; just played through it. We know we can come back and that’s what we did. We kept our composure. Just keep the pressure up.”