Rhinos nearly bested by Goblins in thrilling nail biter
When the Rhinos arrived in Ghent, there was nothing to suggest the oncoming death match.
The Rhinos had beaten the Brewers without much difficulty two weekends before, and the Goblins had lost quite badly to Lille only a week earlier.
In the history of Belgian field lacrosse the Rhinos are unbeaten, but man did it come close to that in this game.
When the whistle blew the two teams kicked it off to a slow start. It was clear early on that they were very close in level, the ball flying from one side of the field to the other.
After seven minutes and three fouls Louis Drijvers made the first goal for the Rhinos, opening the game up. Not much later Pieter De Baets scored his first goal of the season assisted by Bob Smarius and leveled the game. The Rhinos called for a time-out to discuss their performance.
In the second quarter Pieter De Baets brought the Goblins ahead, assisted by Loïc Van Laere, which brought the score to 2-1 for the Goblins. Because they felt victory was within their reach but the Rhinos were not about to give it away, the game got very physical, and a lot of fouls were made. The Rhinos fought back and Louis Drijvers leveled the score again after only a few minutes. Hannes Van den Bossche grabbed his moment of glory next by getting the advantage back to the Goblins. The Rhinos called for a time-out again. Some pep talk must have paid off because Emile Drijvers, recently back from being injured, scored his first goal of the game, despite many attempts of the Goblin defense to cripple him again. He scored with a nice assist by Torben Alhorn. And so ended the first half, in a tie, 3-3.
The second half started the way the first half had. Louis Drijvers scored with an assist by Mark Roes, bringing the Rhinos ahead. The ball went back and forth, but at a certain moment in a flash of brilliance (or a stroke of good luck, same difference) Goblin defender Xavier Schietse kicked the ball from the midfield straight into Pieter De Baets’ net, who scored for the third time. Not much later Emile Drijvers took his revenge on the Goblin defense by evading them once more and bringing the Rhinos ahead again. But there was no rest for the Rhinos; the Goblins felt that if they made an extra effort they could win, so they kept attacking. Eventually Felix De Can brought the score up to 5 – 5. The Goblins kept pushing through and with some nice teamwork Felix assisted Jan Van Cauwenberghe so that the Goblins had the lead once more.
In the last quarter things were even more tense. More fouls were made, the crowd went wild and both teams gave it their all. Torben Alhorn proved he was a true Rhino by scoring with an assist by Emile Drijvers. The game was tied again. Who would make the next goal? Time seemed to go a lot slower. The home crowd kept cheering the Goblins on and with success: Felix De Can made his second goal, assisted by Hannes Van Den Bossche. Only five minutes left in the game. The ball flew in the direction of the Goblin goal cage. Both defense and attack jumped on it. It was hard to see what happened next, but Antti Larvala was able to put the ball over the line.
The whistle blew, time was up.
The game would be decided in two times four minutes overtime. The first four minutes nothing happened, despite continuous effort. During the second half the Rhinos seemed to have the upper hand. The Goblin defense was tired but did not want to give up. Eventually Torben Alhorn assisted by Louis Drijvers in a murderous combination were able to avoid the defense and score the deciding goal.
Rematch on 25/03. Game on!
Ghent Goblins – Red Rhinos 7-8 OT (1-1, 2-2, 3-2, 1-2, 0-0, 0-1)
* Louis Drijvers
* Pieter De Baets (Bob Smarius)
* Pieter De Baets ( Loïc Van Laere)
* Louis Drijvers
* Hannes Van den Bossche
* Emile Drijvers (Torben Ahlborn)
* Louis Drijvers (Mark Roes)
* Pieter De Baets (Xavier Schietse)
* Emile Drijvers
* Felix De Can
* Jan Van Cauwenberge (Felix De Can)
* Torben Ahlborn (Emile Drijvers)
* Felix De Can (Hannes Van den Bossche)
* Antti Larvala
* Torben Ahlborn (Louis Drijvers)
MVP: Louis Drijvers
MVP other team: Simon De Vos