Varsity Soccer Wins Overtime Thriller
September 26, 2013Western Alamance High School
Story by Keith Thomas
Senior Josh Price scored in the early minutes of the first overtime to send Western Alamance past Northern Guilford 2 – 1 in a tough 3A Mid-State Conference battle. The victory currently gives the Warriors control of the league with only 5 regular season games remaining on their schedule before the conference playoffs.
Benjamin Franklin was once quoted as saying “….in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” His famous statement came before the Western Alamance and Northern Guilford rivalry existed. Now, it can also be said for certain, games between these two schools are going to be tough, physical and close. Both games last season ended in a tie and last night was no different as Northern scrambled in the waiting minutes to score a tying goal to set the stage for another OT bout.
While neither team scored in the first half of play, both schools tried to get accustom to the other’s movement and speed. Western recorded the first 3 shots of the game while Northern found their range with the next two. Price had the best opportunity to score for the Warriors in the first half when he sent a 25-yard free kick over the Nighthawk’s wall to the left post saved by a diving keeper and deflected out of bounds. The half ended 0 – 0.
The Warriors jumped on the Nighthawks earlier in the 2nd half as Sam Stafford scored to put Western up 1-0. After applying constant pressure on Northern’ s defense, Stafford found the back of the net in the 47th minute when the Nighthawk’s keeper was unable to secure an earlier shot . The ball fell right in front of the goal, where Stafford tapped it in for Western’s first lead. The Warriors held on to the lead until the final minutes of regulations when the Nighthawk’s Shawn Markham found a clear shot from 15 yards out to tie the game.
In an overtime game, high school conferences play two full 10-minute periods to determine a winner. Three minutes into the first overtime, a Northern foul occurred outside the Nighthawk’s 18-yard line. From a set piece, Stafford’s free kick to teammate Jamie Nakhle in front of the Northern Guilford’s defensive wall was a design play Western fans have observed several times this season. Unlike previous games, the Warriors ran the play to perfection and so quickly Northern didn’t know what happen. Once Nakhle step in front of the defensive line and sent a one-touch pass to Price streaking toward the Nighthawk’s goal, Price found himself one-on-one with the helpless keeper. Price held back his power kick and sent a precision shot low and left of the goalie to give Western a 2 – 1 lead that they would not relinquish. Victory Western 2 – 1.
For the game, Western had 15 shots at goal to the Nighthawk’s 9. The Warriors keeper Tyler Billings saved 6 shots on goal as the defense of Will Thomas, Chris Golden, Noah Thompson and Scott Wright, did a great job keeping the ball away from Billings. Western committed 10 fouls for the night while Northern was whistled for 12.
Western’s win over Northern coupled with Eastern Alamance’s loss to Williams last night has propelled the Warriors atop the 3A Mid-State Conference with a 3 – 0 – 0 league record and 10 – 2 – 1 overall. Western will be looking for revenge next week when they face the Eagles in Mebane. Eastern came into A. M. Primm field several weeks ago and rallied from a goal down to beat Western 2 – 1 in a non-conference affair. Next week game will count toward the Mid-State conference title.
A BIG THANK YOU goes out to all the students, faculty, parents and fans that showed up for last night’s game, which included football players, coaches and former Western soccer players. Thank you for your support in this rivalry game. The players really appreciated it and needed your vocal enthusiasm. Round 2 with Northern is Friday night. Go Warriors!