MONMOUTH — It takes both the head and the heart to win a soccer game. Mountain Valley and Monmouth Academy each lacked one of those at one point in a Mountain Valley Conference boys soccer clash Tuesday, which played a part in a 2-2 draw.

A converted penalty kick in the final seconds prevented the Mustangs from absorbing their first loss of the season, but the Falcons kept them out of the back of the net in overtime at Chick Field.

“We were fortunate, very fortunate, but we’re disappointed with a tie. We did not want a tie,” Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher said. “We played to win it in overtime, we carried play in the overtime, had chances, but we didn’t start playing soon enough.”

Facing defeat, the Mustangs (7-0-1) were awarded a penalty kick on a “questionable call,” Fletcher conceded.

Falcons (4-1-3) goalie Jacob Rainey got a little too aggressive in protecting himself from an oncoming Monmouth player making a run into the box and the whistle was blown.

Avery Pomerleau, the Mustangs’ standout senior striker who had until that point been held quiet, calmly converted to tie the game with 11.9 seconds remaining in regulation.

“If my keeper just holds onto that ball, there’s 11 seconds (left), game’s over. He punts it away and we win,” Falcons coach JT Taylor said. “Unfortunately for him, it’s a discussion we’ve had. Just for him, he wants to protect himself, but he’s a little aggressive on it. It came back to bite him. He learned the hard way, we all learned the hard way.”

Rainey and the Falcons defense spent the first 79-plus minutes frustrating the Mustangs. Monmouth only put four shots on target before the Pomerleau penalty kick, and only a header from Wade Coulombe midway through the first half got past Rainey.

“I think we had a very, very good game plan, we shut down (Pomerleau) for the most part, who’s one of the better players we’ve seen,” Taylor said. “The real goal was to shut down their long balls over the top early, and press them high, and then if it was to come over we wanted to win them in the air before they got to Avery. We usually had two guys on him just to not give him space. And really I don’t think he had that many chances in the game.”

Pomerleau helped set up Coulombe’s goal, which tied the game at 1-1. He won possession of the ball in the right corner, then passed to Cameron Armstrong, whose cross into the box found Coulombe’s head.

“I thought ‘OK, well we scored that goal, we got it back. We’ll start playing the way we’re capable of playing,’ and we still, we didn’t do the things that we practice and we preach,” Fletcher said.

Espen Lamberg got the Falcons on the board just over two minutes prior, getting open on a long kick by Moritz Wehrheim and blasting an open shot past Monmouth goalie Bradley Neal.

The Falcons took the lead again 14 minutes into the second half when Cam Gallant sent a long ball up to Dalton Noyes, who took advantage of a Monmouth defender’s mistake and looped a shot over Neal.

“I’ll give them credit, they played hard and they played skilled, but we shot ourselves in the foot so many times,” Fletcher said.

The Mustangs came closest to breaking the tie in the two five-minute overtime periods. Pomerleau missed high and wide on an early chance, and the Falcons did just well enough on a dangerous ball off a late corner kick in the first extra period to force a second.

“I think that if there’s a silver lining, we don’t give up,” Fletcher said. “We’ve won two games in overtime, and came back in this one. So we don’t quit, but we didn’t show up to play the first two-thirds of the game.”

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