By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
When it comes to scoring goals, Max Elmer keeps it simple.
Be in the right place at the right time.
The Glendale senior demonstrated his knack for knowing where to be in Monday night’s thrilling 3-2 double-overtime win over Rolla.
Elmer converted the golden goal in the 95th minute on a wild sequence around the box.
“I was getting back post, I was trying to get a trash ball. I saw the keeper and another player go up (for the ball),” Elmer said. “I saw the opportunity, took it and went to the front post. I just flicked (the ball) with the back of my head and it went in.”
That awareness seems to come naturally.
“It’s just kind of sensing it, I guess,” Elmer said. “Right place, right time.”
Elmer made another crucial play in the 73rd minute when he finished a rebound opportunity. Mitch Stephens’ header hit the post, but Elmer was nearby to knock it through.
Glendale coach Jeff Rogers has seen many similar goals from Elmer.
“That’s Maximus’ career,” Rogers said. “That kid is going to be where he needs to be to find goals. Some of his goals will be on a run, a play or something like that. But in a lot of his (goals), he’s just going to be in there scrapping and trying to find a way to win. And he did. I’m happy for him.”
The Falcons bested Rolla despite trailing twice in the second half. Gabe Stanislawski put Rolla in front 1-0 in the 45th minute when he lofted a shot over the head of Glendale’s keeper.
The Falcons answered about five minutes later on a Stephens header. Stephens displayed his aerial dominance throughout the night as Rolla struggled to defend Glendale throw-ins.
“Obviously, we can’t give up long throw-ins and we kept doing it over and over again,” said Bulldogs coach Mike Howard. “Defending, I felt like we did a good job while the ball was in play. Through the run of the game, I don’t know if we gave up an opportunity. Then to continually give up those long throw-ins when it’s what we’ve been preaching not to do, it’s disappointing.”
Rolla went up 2-1 in the 69th when Evan Moore, despite being hurt on the play, converted a long shot from outside the box. Elmer’s rebound about four minutes later would send the game into overtime.
“It’s really cool to win a game like that as a team,” Elmer said. “Battling back from down 1-0 to make it 1-1, then 2-1 to 2-2. We just played really well as a team and scored when we needed to.”
Glendale (6-3 overall) collected its fourth straight win since Sept. 18. The Falcons will play eight games between Sept. 18-29.
Rolla (7-4 overall) has an even busier stretch – playing 10 games from Sept. 18-29. The Bulldogs went 2-1 at the Parkway Tournament last weekend and host their own tournament this weekend.
Glendale and Rolla, both Ozark Conference members, could meet again in the Class 3 sectional round. Glendale prevailed in last year’s matchup.
“This is a brutal stretch of games we have here,” Howard said. “We have 10-to-12, however many games, against good opponents. It’ll just make us better at the end of the day.”