by MICHAEL LEONARD | SPORTS EDITOR
Aurora -- Fans who braved the cold, wet night to see Aurora and Hudson boys clash in Division I district semifinal soccer at Veterans Stadium were treated to a high-level contest between two talented teams.
Aurora fans also were treated to one of the most remarkable endings in history. With time expiring in overtime, Aurora midfielder Trever Wendel launched a shot on goal from about 40 yards out.
The ball drifted over Hudson goalkeeper Charlie Sockol and into the net. The only question was weather it had crossed the line before time expired.
After a few minutes, the referees confirmed the goal came before time expired, giving Aurora a 2-1 win. Hudson finished the season at 10-5-3.
Aurora coach Chris Gentille said it was an amazing goal, and his team played very well prior to the score.
"I told the guys you need three things in the playoffs: A great goaltender, a ton of talent and a little luck," Gentille said. "We had all three tonight. Give Hudson credit; they did a great job marking our forwards."
Hudson coach Kelsey Resnick said he wasn't certain the ball crossed the line in time.
"It was a very, very questionable call," Resnick said. "I'm really proud of what the boys did tonight. I felt Aurora was only dangerous on set pieces when they were on the attack."
Hudson finished with a final edge of 10 to 8 in shots on goal, but both teams' goalkeepers had excellent nights. Sockol finished with six saves for the Explorers, while Aurora keeper Justin Pavlick finished with nine saves.
"Pavlick was phenomenal tonight," Gentille said.
Aurora had control of most of the first half, as they outshot the Explorers 6-1. However, the breakthrough didn't come until the 37th minute when Aurora earned its first corner kick of the match.
Prayag Jina served a beautiful ball to the back post, and senior defender Anthony Brockway crashed the net and headed the ball in.
Aurora took a 1-0 lead to halftime, but a moment of "oops," as Gentille called it, tied the game less than a minute after half.
Aurora's defense sent a back pass to goal, which Pavlick wasn't ready for. The ball rolled all the way into the net for an own goal, tying it at 1 in the 41st minute.
Hudson played a much better game after the own goal, outshooting the Greenmen 9-2 in the second half and overtime. However, Pavlick made numerous diving saves to set the stage for Wendel's heroics.
"It's really a big shame that we couldn't go farther," Resnick said. "I thought we could have made a lot of noise."
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