Dramatic comeback win propels soccer into regionals


Photo courtesy of Curt Wullschleger

The boys soccer team celebrates their come from behind win against Garden City.

Curt Wullschleger has been the head soccer coach at North for 10 years. He’s been around the game his entire life.

But what happened last night in Garden City was something even Wullschleger hadn’t seen before in a soccer game.

Trailing 3-0 with 15 minutes remaining, North scored four goals in nine minutes and stunned host Garden City 4-3. North finishes 8-8 in the regular season with the win.

“The way we were able to comeback was incredible,” Wullschleger said. “The energy from the team was palpable. You could feel the momentum shift after Garden City miss a penalty kick. Our effort found another level while our opponent thought we were done. The first goal felt good to get on the board and give us hope. The second goal really got us pumped. The third goal broke their spirit, and the fourth goal was pandemonium. I can’t say I’ve experienced anything quite like it.”

Momentum was not on North’s side early on. Garden City struck for three goals in the first half and seemed to have control of the game.

But late in the second half, senior Oscar Vitela got free and scored a header for the first goal. A few minutes later, Vitela got free again and scored again. Two minutes later Vitela got his hat trick and North had stolen the momentum.

With six minutes remaining, Miguel Busungu took a free kick from the right has mark of the 15-yard line and scored after the ball glanced off the post.

“The comeback shows North is here to compete for 80 minutes,” Wullschleger said. “The boys trust each other and will fight for one another. We showed tremendous heart, character, and desire to win.”

With the win, North will host Liberal, who they defeated earlier in the season 5-0, in the first round of the 6A playoffs. That game will be Oct. 25th at 4 p.m. on the North turf.

“We’ve managed to knock off the 3# team (Wichita East) and #5 (Garden City) team in our region in the last week,” Wullschleger said. “Those are wins we can build upon.”