Mayowa Gbadamosi ’19
On Friday afternoon, JV Soccer kicked off against one of the better teams in the league, Norfolk Academy. On a sunny day at the Forest, Woodberry tied 1-1 with Norfolk.
This was bound to be a tough day for the Tigers due to the fact that there were multiple players out due to injury or sickness. This left only two substitutes on the bench for the Tigers.
Norfolk found a bit of a rhythm from the start almost putting one in the back of the net in the first couple of minutes. However, Mayowa Gbadamosi was able to kick the ball out for a corner just before Norfolk shot. Norfolk possessed the ball in the middle of the attacking third for the majority of the half, but the Tigers’ midfield contained them so that there was no real threat. Due to a clearance by Gbadamosi, the Tigers were able to maintain control of the game for a while.
The Tigers’ offense featured great communication between Johnny Russell and Sam Crosby leading to an amazing shot by Aidan McManamey unfortunately saved by Norfolk’s goalkeeper. The Tigers had a couple more chances throughout the half. One from a corner where Russell sent his cross to the middle of the box where Gbadamosi almost got a head on it.
After that, possession seemed to be have moved back and forth between the Tigers and Norfolk allowing each team to have their fair amount of chances. This season, the Tigers have struggled with the midfield recovering from fast breaks and with their one-on-one defense which ultimately led to the first goal for Norfolk.
In the 30th minute, Norfolk had a breakaway and tried playing a through ball past Bryce Reid which went just under his foot. Then the Norfolk forward ran onto the ball shifting himself past Gbadamosi and sliding the ball just past goalkeeper Jonah Marshall putting Norfolk in the lead. Just before the first half had ended clearly leaving the Tigers devastated.
During halftime, Coach Mark O’Donnell, was able to work his magic by motivating the team to come out in the second half and in an interview with O’Donnell, he stated, “The team possessed the ball well in the early stages of the game.” However, toward the end of the half the Tigers started to collapse especially after Norfolk scored.
Despite the Tigers being down 0-1, they came out with such a great spark that even the referees told O’Donnell after the game that he must have had a great halftime speech.
The second-half started off much more exciting as the first. The Tigers dominated possession allowing them to possess the ball in the attacking third for the most of the half. Later Norfolk started getting frustrated and gave up a foul about 25 yards from the goal. Russell took a wonderful shot that went just over the post. Again, Russell played a cross into the middle just missing Gbadamosi’s head and into the goalkeeper’s hands. The Norfolk keeper plays the ball upfield to one of their players who play the ball behind Reid leaving Gbadamosi to chase down the ball. When he got to the Norfolk attacker he went into a tackle wrong leaving Gbadamosi with what seems to be a hyperextended knee leaving him on the bench for the rest of the game.
In what seemed to be redemption for their teammate, the Tigers immediately regained possession and got back into the attacking third. Off of a cross that ricocheted off of Norfolk’s defender Miles Miller was able to get the ball into the back of the net with a beautiful finish tying off the game with 15 minutes left. For the rest of the game, Norfolk had a couple nerve-racking chances but none of them went in the goal.
The game finished 1-1 which put the Tigers’ overall record to 2-1-3. This Tuesday Woodberry takes on Collegiate at home which hopefully leads to another win for the Tigers.