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The percentages indicate that taking a penalty kick at any point in a soccer game of any playing level should not be a terrifying experience for a shooter, and yet Toms River East senior Lorenzo Scala admitted to being as nervous as ever when he lined up for his penalty kick on Tuesday night against Toms River North, the No. 4 team in the Shore Sports Network top 10.

Toms River East's Josh Sommerer (right) wins a ball in the air against Toms River North's Mike Karpinsky. (Photo by Matt Manley)

Then again, a penalty kick with 10 seconds left in regulation and your team trailing its crosstown rival by a goal is not just any penalty kick.

Scala buried his penalty kick with 10 seconds remaining in regulation after a handball near the Toms River North goal and the Raiders pulled out a 2-2 draw on the road against the Mariners.

“There’s a lot of pressure on penalty kicks and it’s not easy when you’ve been playing hard for pretty much a whole game, you’re tired and then you have to step up and make a kick,” Scala said. “If it goes in, you keep playing, and you don’t you lose. It’s a lot of pressure, but I just had to put it past me and have confidence that I was going to make it.”

Toms River North appeared poised to pull out the win as the seconds ticked away, but Toms River East made one more push toward the goal. Anthony Batelli took the ball toward the left corner and crossed it toward the far right post, where junior Jon Meola was open and in position for a header.

“We always want Batelli beating his man and sending crosses,” Scala said. “He does it better than anybody, and we had Meola on the far post and he’s been our top goal-scorer. The play was set up well for us.”

Mariners junior Nick Hund prevented the ball from getting to Meola, but did so by using his left hand, giving Toms River East a penalty kick.

Handball gives TRE a PK with 10 seconds left from All Shore Media on Vimeo.

With the game on the line, Scala shot the ball to the right of goalkeeper Brian Brannagan.

“This is a tough one for us, no question, but this is not a bad thing for our guys,” Toms River North coach Joe Mahon said. “It’s adversity and any team needs to learn how to deal with it. No one wants to have that happen, and (Hund) feels terrible about it. But you keep playing, you pick each other up and the good thing is, we walk out of here 2-2 against a really good team.”

Scala’s penalty kick marked the second time in the game that Toms River East battled back from a one-goal deficit. Sophomore Andrea Verace pulled the Raiders even with a 35-yard strike that found the upper right part of the netting in the 49th minute.

Toms River North regained the lead in the 66th minute on a goal by junior Tyler Foss. Senior Mike Karpinsky sent a long throw-in from the left sideline that bounced to Foss’ feet in the middle of the 18-yard box. The junior one-timed a shot over Raiders junior goalkeeper Justin Tegeder and into the net for the go-ahead goal.

The Mariners struck first with a goal in the 25th minute by senior Nick Sica. Senior Sal Turelli served a corner kick from the right corner to the far side of the box and Sica headed the ball out of the air and into the goal.

Toms River East tested Brannagan at the end of the first overtime period, one a shot to the right of the far post by Scala and the other a header by Meola off a corner kick that Brannagan saved.

Toms River North had two chances in the second overtime, with Tegeder deflecting a shot by Lee Scheck in the 96th minute and Mariners forward Sean Moore firing a shot over the crossbar on a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper in the final minute.

Toms River East has won just once in its last four games since a 2-0 start under first-year coach Brian Huttemann, but Tuesday was a step in the right direction according to those on the Raiders side.

“We knew we were coming in to play a team ranked fourth in the Shore, and we looked at it as a chance to prove ourselves,” Scala said. “We have had some games where we didn’t come out as strong as we needed to, and we’re still figuring out how to play our best game. Tonight was definitely our best game of the year so far, and we’re going to try to build on it.”

Box Score

Toms River East 2, Toms River North 2

Final

1

2

OT

OT

F

Toms River East (3-3-1, 3-3-1)

0

2

0

0

2

Toms River North (4-1-3, 4-0-3)

1

1

0

0

2

Goals: (TRE) A. Verace 49', Scala (PK) 80'; (TRN) Sica (Turelli) 25', Foss (Karpinsky) 66'
Saves: (TRE) Unger 2; (TRN) Brannagan 3
Shots: Tied, 13-13