Of all the karmic turns that tend to surface in high school sports, few could possibly be more fitting than the twist that saw Father Ryan (Tenn.) School soccer defender Ben Dobson score the state title winning goal against Christian Brothers (Tenn.) School in a 1-0 victory in the Division II-AA final. That's because in 2009, Dobson also scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory … for Christian Brothers.
That's right, almost exactly two years after he cost his team a state title with an own goal, Dobson popped up with a truly unlikely header to win a state crown to cap his senior campaign. According to the Nashville Tennessean, the goal -- which you can see in the video above -- came in the same game, on the same field, against the same opponent. This time he just scored it for the team he was supposed to.
"Karma goes both ways, I guess," Dobson told the Tennessean. "[Many of the seniors from the 2009 team at the game] were really happy for me, but you could sort of tell that it was kind of ironic that I score the goal. I don't even know if the soccer gods could have predicted this one. I don't think you could have written this one."
Two years earlier, Dobson's own goal came off a free kick by Christian Brothers, with the ball deflecting off his back foot on a fluky bounce, slipping above the outstretched hand of the Fighting Irish's leaping goaltender and into the net. From there, neither team could muster enough offense to score a goal.
In his second time in a state final at Murfreesboro's Siegel Complex, the senior captain made sure that his rare run into the penalty area for an offensive set piece made a difference.
"The next year I caught so much grief about that play," Dobson said. "Different guys on the team — they said it in a joking way, but [Father Ryan Coach Robin Dieterich] got on them a couple times because it got kind of out of hand."
The only thing that got out of hand in the 2011 title game were the celebrations following Dobson's goal, as you can see above.