OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A teenage soccer player from New Jersey scored a low-percentage goal in the final minutes of a game on Monday to help his team beat a squad they’d lost to for three straight years.
While nearing the corner on his opponent’s half of the field, and with his back to the goal, Joel Tapia went with a bicycle kick. But it’s the angle he launched it from that left viewers puzzled. Tapia was hugging the goal line when he leaped and met the ball in the air before taking advantage of a very small window.
For his precision, prowess, and frankly, his fearlessness, Tapia is this week’s talent on That Kid’s Got Game.
"I’ve been waiting to pull something off like that for a while,” Tapia said. “I’ve practiced that shot from different angles to feel comfortable to pull off in a game.”
Tapia plays for Dover High School, sectional state defending champions. The team had a 1-0 advantage on Morris Catholic with five minutes remaining when Tapia thought it was a good time to debut the shot he’d been working on.
And he drained it.
In the video, you can hear a gasp as the ball leaves Tapia’s foot. “Re-watching the video, and seeing the angle, it’s crazy,” Tapia said. “I was just trying to put it on target.”
The Dover Tigers went on to win 2-0 and are currently 4-1 (3-0 in conference) this season. Tapia added that he plays with a special squad “filled with talented Latino soccer players.”
“We all grew up together and are very familiar on how we all play, so the chemistry is a quick style of play,” Tapia said. “We are looking forward to becoming state champions this year.”
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