Green sets up late-game goal to help American seal playoff berth

April 12, 2021

Jack Green

With a postseason berth hanging in the balance, the American University men’s soccer team needed a hero.

Enter Jack Green of Anchorage.

After coming on as a late-game substitute, Green set up the equalizing goal in the 85th minute to highlight a 1-1 draw with Navy that clinched American’s spot in the Patriot League Tournament.

“If we didn’t score, our season would’ve been over,” Green said. I just knew I had to give it my all; not only to keep the season alive but to do it for the seniors on the team.

“I didn’t want to go out like that.”

Green, of West High fame, took a free kick from the 18-yard line and lofted the ball inside the goalie box, where two Navy defenders failed to clear the ball from danger.

Instead, American’s David Coly found the back of the net after he cleaned up a loose ball that had been initially deflected by a Navy defender off the post.

The assist was the first of his career for Green, a sophomore midfielder.

The left-footed Alaskan put his free kick right on the money when it mattered most.

“We had worked on set pieces in preparation for the Navy game,” Green said. “This kind of spot was supposed to be a back-post ball; however, I was asking the coach whether or not to shoot it since it was in a good spot.

“Through my coach’s mask and everything going on, I thought he told me to shoot it. I tried to hit the back post and our forward made a good run and finished it off.”

For American, this was the team’s third consecutive overtime game. The Eagles won one of them and tied the other two to carry a three-game unbeaten streak into the Patriot League Tournament.

American will face Loyola in the semifinals on Wednesday in Baltimore, Maryland.

Coming up clutch to help his team advanced to the playoffs is exactly what Green needed.

“This win to me is incredible because it just shows how hard work and determination will persevere,” he said. “This last year I have had two prolonging concussions and COVID, so it feels really good to be contributing to my team out on the field.

“Every time I step out on the field, I know I’m representing myself, my family, and the great state of Alaska.”