The drama and emotions of comeback victories

Many sports fans have heard of the Boston Bruin’s 5-4 comeback victory on Monday over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (click here for a recap if needed, watch highlights below). Regrettably, I did not see the game live but even the highlights are chill-inducing. There’s something about comebacks, and it’s not hard to figure out, that make the win so much juicier.

It’s arguable that an outright whomping, like, say, the four goals to none that the Sounders gave the Earthquakes last weekend, that could be determined a better win. But having played soccer my entire life, and having experienced a few comebacks of my own, it’s the feeling of a lost battle, the resurgence of hope, and the late-game victory that really embeds itself into the memories of players and fans.

I asked a few of our Rapids players what their most memorable comeback has been, and the obvious standout was Brian Mullan who was part of the San Jose Earthquakes squad that was down 4-0 on aggregate to the LA Galaxy 13 minutes into the second game of the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals. The Quakes then scored five unanswered goals to win and ultimately claim their second MLS Cup. Made even sweeter, Mullan had been traded to San Jose by the Galaxy at the start of the season. Comeback and payback.

For me, my favorite soccer memory was my High School Regional finals in 2002, where I scored the game tying goal in the final minutes of regulation and the winning PK to claim the title. My mom still recounts nearly passing out in the stands from the excitement. And while the deficit in my game may not have been the as drastic as Brian’s or the Bruins’, I bet it still felt the same to come out on top.