FREDERICK, Md. — As far as John Remsberg is concerned, he evened the score — quite literally.
Remsberg, a defensive midfielder who entered the match as a halftime sub, scored a game-tying goal in the 87th minute as FC Frederick rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the final 20 minutes to play to a 2-2 tie with Fredericksburg FC on Friday evening at Thomas Athletic Field on the campus of Hood College.
Last year, Remsberg drew a red card in FC Frederick’s home-opening match with Legacy 76, which allowed the visitors to rally for a tie. This year, in FC Frederick’s home opener, it was Remsberg who helped salvage a point with his late goal in a game that otherwise appeared lost.
“I got one back,” joked Remsberg, a defensive-minded player who only gets into the attack during set pieces. He said Friday’s game-tying goal was his first in two years— the last coming during the 2014 college season.
Through 63 minutes of play, Fredericksburg FC held a 17-1 advantage in shots and led 2-0. The lone bright spot for FC Frederick was a save by keeper Nick Over on a penalty kick early in the second half, which proved to be a game-saver.
Fredericksburg (0-0-1) went up 2-0 on a pair of first-half goals by Julian Cummings.
Frederick, meanwhile, mustered very few chances until the final 25 minutes of the contest.
Drew Demich ripped a shot from 15 yards out into the upper right corner to pull FC Frederick (0-1-1) within 2-1 in the 70th minute. William Eskay assisted the goal. From that point on, FC Frederick did not allow a shot the rest of the match while going on the attack and ultimately tying the match with three minutes to play.
“Once we got that first goal, it gave us breath — we had a chance,” Remsberg said of Demich’s goal. “You could feel it on the field.”
Christian Morales, who entered the match in the 76th minute, served up the assist to Remsberg, who received the pass with his chest, let it drop to the ground before he slid the shot into the goal from just a few yards out.
“I coached him as a youth player and he always came up big on set pieces,” FC Frederick coach Chris Spinks said of Remsberg.
FC Frederick’s rally was made possible thanks in large part Over’s save in the 52nd minute. The game was 2-0 when FC Frederick was called for a handball in the box. University of Virginia player Ryan Zinkhan stepped to the penalty kick line and angled a shot toward the lower right corner. Over knocked the ball way to keep it 2-0.
“That PK save was extremely important,” Spinks said. “It keeps it 2-0 because if it went to 3-0, the game was over. That save gave us confidence, but it didn’t give us a spark. We got that spark when Christian Morales entered the game. He was winning balls and brought us a lot of energy.
“Down 2-0 with 20 minutes to go and to come back to tie it is a big result against a very good team,” Spinks said.