It’s made its rounds of the internet over the last week, but even still, Will Manganiello is at a loss for words on how to describe it. The YouTube clip title of “Greatest Goal Ever” is more declarative.
The video in question has gotten its fair share of views: The Penncrest senior attacker’s sensational one-handed goal in the Lions’ 13-6 win over Parkland April 26.
The play came to fruition quickly and almost out of nowhere. Robert Logan caused a turnover on the left wing and picked up a groundball. He passed to Drew Hanna in front of the net, who waited for the onrushing Manganiello to get near the crease. That’s when the county’s leading goalscorer showed why he’s earned that title.
“I’m always goofing around with one hand in practice, nothing serious,” Manganiello said Thursday after hit team beat Radnor, 7-5, for a share of the Central League title. “Drew got the ball. Robert had a great check to get us the ball, and the pass was just behind and my instinct, I just reached back with one hand. I turned as quick as I could, and I wasn’t even thinking about it. It just happened.”
What happened was that Manganiello made a backhanded stab of a low Hanna pass with the stick in his right hand. Then all in one whirling dervish of a motion, he turned the stick over, spun and whipped a shot into the net.
“I was thinking I was going to get it left-handed, fake the goalie and score,” Manganiello said. “But it just happened like that. I knew where the goal was the whole time and just spun and scored.”
The goal was equal parts audacity and impressive arm strength for Manganiello, able to generate the requisite power and control with just one hand. His nose for goal, for a player that has 53 goals and 17 assists this season, is an unspoken and wholly understood part of the mix.
What came to life mid-game was basically a shooting-drill set up. It’s the kind of thing Manganiello has tried to pull off in practice countless times, without much thought or purpose, on the off-chance that just once it might come up in a game.
When it did, he was obviously ready.
“A lot of luck, I don’t know,” Manganiello explained as the reason the shot went in. “Just practice and practice and practice.”