Head referees in soccer have a lot of power. They can give you red cards and yellow cards and they can call for penalty shots against you if you’ve committed a foul in the box.
They also keep official scoring, which turned out to be fairly important Saturday night.
While watching Mililani beat Kalani 1-0 in double overtime in the OIA title game, it appeared that the Trojans’ goal was the result of a certain player’s cross being redirected into the Falcons’ net by a certain teammate.
So when it was time to find out from the head ref what the time of the goal was, he said, “94th minute,” and he gave an unexpected additional piece of information.
“We’re giving it to No. 6,” he said, meaning the officials credited the goal to Jamin Fonseca, who wears jersey No. 6.
Well, there were players in the way of getting a good view, so it was tough to tell exactly who touched the ball to redirect it in. So, maybe No. 10, Marc Matas, didn’t actually get the goal as it initially appeared.
“No. 6 was the last Mililani player to touch it and the goal went in off a Kalani player,” the referee said.
Hmmm, that explains why Matas, after the ball went in, ran in celebration toward midfield and WAS NOT mobbed by his teammates.
That also explains why after the initial celebration pile, many of the Trojans gathered around Fonseca.
So, as Matas was walking with the rest of his teammates to greet the well-wishers in the stands, he was asked, “Did you get a piece of it?”
“No,” was the answer.
Good enough, then.
While being interviewed, Fonseca was giddy with excitement and he confirmed that the ball did not hit a Mililani player before it went into the net.
What did the OC 16 broadcast say about the goal scorer, though? When it was time to sit down and write the story for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, however, a little bit of panic set in. Were the people telling their versions all wrong? Didn’t the stadium announcer call out Matas’ name as the goal scorer? What if the TV cameras showed Matas scoring?
So others up the stadium steps were asked, “Who scored the winning goal?”
“Matas,” one person said.
A little bit more panic. Better go into the booth where the TV people were.
“Any announcers around? Did you do the broadcast or see or listen to the broadcast?”
No, they were the tech guys, the ones who make sure everything went smoothly for the on-camera people. But one crew member said, “I heard it was the same kid who scored the goal in the last game (which was, of course, Matas).”
Haha. Deadline is fast approaching. About 20 minutes away and there is nothing written yet.
A quick call to the office; the editors were probably watching on TV in the sports department.
“Jerry, were you watching the game? What did the announcers say about who scored the goal?”
“I saw the goal, but I wasn’t listening to who they said scored it,” he said. “It was an own goal. It went off a Kalani player.”
Whew. An own goal, which would support the “facts” learned from the players and refs on the field.
Still, there was a bit of doubt as the words flowed out from the keyboard into the laptop document. That’s because someone mentioned that the OIA scorekeeper sent the score out to the media with Matas listed as the goal scorer.
Too late now. Send … the … story … in. It’s iron-clad.
No. 6 Jamin Fonseca scored that goal. That’s what the center referee said and, when you get right down to it, what he said is all ye need to know.