On the day before Halloween, the Abbotsford Panthers senior boys soccer team got a first half scare from the Semiahmoo Totems.
The Totems scored a late goal in the first half to go up 1-0, and controlled play in round one of the Fraser Valley AAA senior boys playoffs at Panther Field on Tuesday.
The Panthers entered the tournament seeded third in the region, and went a perfect 5-0 during regular season play, but the Totems came out flying.
The second half was a different story, as Abbotsford’s Max Barker drew a penalty early into the frame and Jehmrode Kahlon, who back in September signed with the UFV Cascades men’s soccer program, converted on the penalty kick to tie the game up. Barker then scored the go-ahead goal a few minutes later to help the Panthers earn the 2-1 win.
That victory advances the Panthers to Thursday’s second round match, which will see Abbotsford take on Charles Best.
Panthers head coach Dean Fetterly said his team turned it around when they had to.
“The first half we weren’t playing with the urgency we normally do,” he said. “But about 10 minutes into the second half it was like a switch went on and we were the first to the ball, were making the right passes and playing more aggressively.”
Fetterly admitted Tuesday’s first half might have been one of the worst this season for the Panthers.
“After the first half we knew we could play a lot better,” he said. “But Semiahmoo is a talented team, they caught us by surprise a bit in the first half.”
Abbotsford hosts the Charles Best Blue Devils on Thursday at 3 p.m., and if the Panthers win they qualify for the provincials. A loss doesn’t eliminate the Panthers from provincials, but it will be a harder path to qualify.