Western falls from the unbeaten
October 15, 2012Western Alamance High School
Story courtesy of Keith Thomas
Pictures courtesy of Anita Richard
“I see the bad moon arising, I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightning, I see bad times today”
(Lyrics from Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival)
On a Friday evening normally tagged for football fever, the Western Alamance men’s soccer team traveled to Williams High School to face the Bulldogs and put their unbeaten streak on the line in a Mid-State 3A Conference clash. This was a make-up game from a rain out earlier in the week. Unfortunately for the Warriors the storm continued on Friday as Western fell to Williams 4 - 1 on a pitch that has been unkind to WA for quite some time.
The first 20 minutes of the game saw Western completely dominate possession of play especially in the mid-field area with several chances to score. Williams had a couple of runs toward Western’s goal during this stretch with a couple of shots; however, the Warriors were able to move the ball back down the field with good control just unable to account for a score. Although the Warriors were moving the ball well and winning the 50/50 opportunities, the fact remained Western was not placing the ball by Williams’s goalie Christian Marban to tally points.
With the Warriors unable to penetrate past the Bulldog’s back line of defense to get a good look at goal, the feeling was “a bad moon arising, trouble on the way.” (To coin part of the CCR song) Although there was no real storm approaching, there was a small one brewing on the William’s pitch and 4 minutes later when Western’s defense was unable to clear the ball from their own goalie box, Williams scored their first goal of the game. While it appeared Western’s Sam Stafford came out of nowhere to make a great save by sending the ball 20-yards down field and keeping it from completely passing the Warrior’s goal line, the Bulldogs received credit for the score and went up 1 nil after 40 minutes of playing time.
The goal scored by Williams really sucked the life out of the Western boys as their heads were hanging low when they returned to the pitch for the start of the 2nd half. Both teams did come out strong in the 2nd half of play with tempo moving back and forth on the field. Western had several opportunities again to score early in the 2nd; however, they failed to find the back of the net. In the 50th minute, Williams got their 2nd goal of the game when Tarriq Songster found Albion Ida open on the left side of the field for the score. Five minutes later, Western finally broke into the scoring column by cracking the William’s defense when the Warriors Adam Richard scored off a pass that was crossed in front of the Bulldog’s goal. Richard was able to rattle the ball past the stout back line of Williams to stop the game from being a shutout.
With about 20 minutes left and down 2 – 1, Western gambled and moved additional players forward in order to obtain a tying goal. Unfortunately the strategy failed as Williams would take advantage of a short-handed defensive line and tacked on 2 more goals for a final of 4 to 1. The Warriors out-shot the Bulldogs 19 to 14; however, the story was Williams’s ability to score when the opportunity presented itself. Western’s goalie Tyler Billings had 5 saves at goal while William’s Marban had 6. The loss dropped Western from the unbeaten as their conference record is 8 – 1 – 2 while their overall record is 12 – 1 – 2. The Warriors are home this week taking on McMichael Monday evening and then playing a major game Wednesday night against Northern Guilford with 1st place implications on the line.