Redemption can come in many forms. For Kennesaw (Ga.) Harrison High soccer star Trevor Stolz, it came nearly bundled in a like-for-like replacement that few would have even imagined possible.
In 2011, Stolz struck one of his team's goals of the season -- if not the goal of the season in the state -- when he connected on an overhead bicycle kick to score in a tight playoff matchup. There was just one problem: The goal in question was wiped out by a rather ludicrous yellow card handed to Stolz for accidentally kicking his opposing defender on the follow through of his kick.
When you watch that 2011 wonder goal, it is almost impossible to understand how Stolz could have received a card for the kick. Clearly the junior felt the same way, as his instant protestations about the discipline indicate.
It would be understandable if Stolz chalked the lost goal, one which might be a once-in-a-lifetime strike, to simple bad luck. If he did, he never gave up on the idea of scoring such an audacious goal again.
That is now certain because, incredibly, Stolz scored an almost identical goal almost exactly a year later, again in the playoffs. Deadlocked 2-2 against Woodward (Ga.) High, Stolz found an inbounds pass taking a lucky bounce in his direction, headed the ball up and set himself up for an almost identical bicycle attempt.
This time, there was no one around to possibly keep the goal from counting, and the strike eventually gave Harrison a 3-2 victory.
Just how similar were the two strikes? Similar enough that if you didn't notice Stolz's knee wrap in the 2012 version, it might be hard to tell the difference between the two.
Both goals came on Harrison's home turf. Both came in the playoffs, but only the second counted.
Could the second goal be the result of random chance? Sure. Could blind luck have played its part? Absolutely. Still, it's nice to think that karma may have played some role in Stolz's incredible second goal. After having his first wonder goal ruled out, he certainly deserved to have one just as good count on the official score sheet.