Dylan Walmsley ’19
The Woodberry Varsity Soccer team traveled to northern Virginia to play St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes for the Tiger’s second away game of the week. Expecting rain and clouds, Woodberry dressed in their all black uniforms–they look slick– but arrived at the Saints’ field to find clear skies and warm weather.
The weather shock appeared to affect the Tigers on the field for the first part of the game, as St. Stephen’s possessed the ball and sent balls into the corners, a tactic they are not known for using. The Saints continued to pressure the Tigers on defense and eventually scored their first goal about 20 minutes into the first half. Charlie Ferrari exhibited a valiant effort, sprinting to contain the Saints’ right wing, but the opponent was able to slide a ball on the ground straight across the box to a wide open Saint on the backside.
So far this season, the Tigers have struggled to guard backside runners, and they look to improve this weakness in the coming games. Despite the one goal deficit and losing Zach Woods to injury, Woodberry did not give up, and Max Richter, rifling a shot to the top right corner, helped even the score: 1-1.
The Tigers did not stop there. For the next ten minutes, the Tigers controlled the ball in the midfield and won multiple attacking throw-ins. One of these throw-ins led to a goal, as Jack Sloan–notoriously known by other teams for his throw-ins– launched a ball from the right sideline into the box. Meade Seay perfectly placed himself inside the six-yard box to punch another goal in for the Tigers, making the score 2-1. Frantic, the Saints started attacking the Tigers with intensity but were unable to score in the last four minutes of the half.
When the second half started, St. Stephen’s picked up where they left off in the final minutes of the first half; the Tigers’ defense was put under heavy pressure. In fact, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes applied this pressure for the larger part of the second half. About 15 minutes after the start of the half, two whiffed clears by the Tigers left the ball right in front of the goal for the Saints’ forward to tap in his second goal of the day.
Playing more and more defense, Woodberry started to retreat and become noticeably tired. Their fatigue led to another Saints’ goal when a pass slipped through the Tigers’ defense, and St. Stephen’s backside runner cleaned up the trash with 20 minutes left on the clock. For the next 15 minutes, Woodberry tried to fight their way out of the hole, but they could not seem to find the forwards, as the Saints kept the Tigers out of the goal. And then came the dagger. With less than four minutes, St. Stephen’s managed to slide another ball through the defense and follow it up with a shot that tipped off Dylan Walmsley’s foot, finding its way into the back of the next.
The final score was 2-4, and the Tigers’ overall record dropped to 2-4. This Tuesday against Covenant offers Woodberry a good opportunity to put another W in the win column and satisfy the home crowd.