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Cougars tough one out to beat Raymond in OT, 3-2

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Sep 29, 2022

Campbell's Justin Edmonds reacts after scoring the game-winning goal Wednesday vs. Raymond in Litchfield. (Telegraph photo by TOM KING)

LITCHFIELD – It’s always nice to find out your team may be tourney tough in late September, a month before the postseason begins.

Thus, when Campbell High School coach Brian Henderson gets his 9-0 team, the Division III runnerup a year ago, ready for the postseason in another month or so, he’ll look back at Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win over Raymond as a guide.

“I’m really happy that our boys worked through some adversity,” Henderson said after Justin Edmonds willed the ball home 3:36 into the first overtime. “We haven’t had to face adversity yet in a sense. It was good to go down in a game, have to climb up, even give up a lead, and it all happened in one game. … I’m glad they had a battle today.”

The ironic thing is the game winner was scored off a kick from a 6-foot-5 player who is even more of a weapon with his arms – a long throw that’s as good as a corner kick from the sidelines. The Cougars have had that weapon from others before.

“It is a bit amazing,” Henderson said. “It’s a different style throw that he has. He is such a big guy. I actually think this year’s throw is more effective, it’s loftier ball, a friendlier ball. … He has good feet for a big guy. It’s not normal in soccer you have someone over 6-3 with good feet, but he’s one of them.”

Edmonds took a pass from right wing Wyatt Hemming early in the first overtime, and pushed the ball by Raymond keeper Noah Brisson (eight saves), who had been shaken up earlier in the game but returned.

“It felt pretty good, I got to help my team win in a tough game,” Edmonds said. “As soon as I saw a little gap, I waited for (the ball) to come through.”

The loss dropped Raymond, which lost in OT to St. Thomas the night before, to 3-5.

“It’s been a rough week, we had overtime last night at St. Thomas, and had a few injuries there,” Raymond coach Will Titus said. “These kids work really hard. … (Campbell) is a good program, a good feeder program. We’re working on that at Raymond.”

Raymond led 1-0 at the half on a late goal by Jayden Costa, who had an empty net to shoot at after Campbell keeper Brady Matthews got caught out of position guarding another threat. Campbell dominated the first half yet still trailed 1-0 at the break, but grabbed a 2-1 lead on a goals by Luke Delia (two minutes in to the second half) and Delia again at 53:52 off, ironically, a throw in by Edmonds. But Raymond tied it on a Ryan Kirkpatrick goal off a corner at 59:28.

And, with about 50 seconds left, Raymond’s Ryan Santino had a clear, open look at the goal but his kick sailed high, and the Cougars breathed a sigh of relief.

“We had some mistakes that hurt us today,” Henderson said. “We probably weren’t as clean with our passing, and credit to Raymond in pressuring us and being effective with their bodies.”

But they weren’t as effective as a 6-5 Campbell body, who helped his team tough one out.

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