Tuesday night at Paul Cline Stadium, the Woodrow Wilson boys soccer team looked take down the state’s top program, while the girls team looked for a bounce back win.
The girls got their much-needed victory with a 4-0 win over Capital, but the boys fell 2-0 in a well-played match against three-time defending state champions, George Washington.
“For what the plan was tonight, I thought we played extremely well,” Woodrow Wilson boys head coach Steve Laraba said. “On the two goals, we just didn’t close down enough. We gave their players space to shoot, and they punished us with that. But I thought collectively the team defended really well. We got two or three chances, but we didn’t capitalize on them tonight.”
The Patriots kept Woodrow Wilson on the defensive early, but for most of the first half, Flying Eagles keeper Josh Farnsworth kept a clean sheet.
Senior Alec Ellis finally found the back of the net to give GW the 1-0 lead heading to halftime.
Although it trailed in the match, Woodrow Wilson had two golden opportunities to score, but could not convert the tries.
The first look came just before the half and the second came on a run from Carson Eckley which was stopped by a great save from Patriot’s keeper, Dawson Lunsford.
“Woodrow has some boys with some serious pace. They have some wheels up front,” George Washington head coach Erik Engle said. “We were keeping three up-back to try and prevent a counterattack. The kid had a 60-yard run and still had a counter-attack that our keeper had to make an excellent save on.”
“If we get the one in the first half and the one in the second half, that is two goals for us. It was just one of those things where they didn’t fall and that happens,” Laraba said.
The Patriots put the match away with a blast late in the second half from Rylan Morehead to escape town with a victory.
“I was very happy with our play tonight. Any time we can come up to Beckley and we are playing Woodrow, we know it is going to be a tight match,” Engle said. “I hated to let them hang around tonight, but quite frankly, they always do. We know it’s going to happen. I think the boys hung in their well and possessed the ball. They looked for their opportunities, but we know when we play Woodrow, the opportunities will be slim. You have to execute when you get the chance.”
Even in a loss, Laraba saw plenty to be pleased with Tuesday night.
“When you play a team as good as George Washington you’ve got to take the chances that are presented to you, but I am proud of my team tonight,” Laraba said. “We haven’t defended like that this all season and I was really happy with that. If we can defend with that type of urgency throughout the rest of the season, then we are going to be successful and hopefully have a good run in the playoffs.”
In the first match of the night, the Woodrow girls started a little sluggish and the match went to the break scoreless.
“We made all the right passes in the first half, but we were slow. Yesterday in practice we ran a lot of passing drills on where we needed to pass on the field,” Woodrow Wilson head coach Julie Agnor said. “It happened today, but it was just in slow motion. I told them they looked beautiful in the first half, but now it was time to speed it up.”
Mya Wooton found Cassidy Agnor who blasted a shot to the far post over the Capital keeper. Wooton then made it 2-0 before she scored again off a corner kick that was deflected into the net.
Mia Houck closed out the scoring on assist from Sophie Hall.
After a tough loss Thursday to George Washington, Agnor was happy to see her team back on the winning track.
“They rocked it in the second half. Once we scored it just snowballed. We needed this win,” Agnor said. I think last week by the time Thursday rolled around we were just tired with all of the events from Homecoming.”
The Woodrow Wilson girls travel to Bluefield Thursday, while the boys team hosts Scott at Paul Cline Stadium the same night.