Boys Varsity Soccer
|Lebanon Sr. High School||1|
The Waynesville Tiger Soccer team traveled west to I-44 neighbor, Lebanon, in a Conference and District match up. From the opening whistle the Tigers were able to assert control over the Yellow Jackets. The game plan was to maintain possession and send the attack to the flanks. The team was able to send the ball wide, keeping Jerry Soria and Cameron Wilbur busy out wide as they looked to set up or finish a cross. The effort paid dividends by the eighth minute as Garrett Long received a ball to the left of goal, and was able to make a smart play by chipping high over a hard charging keeper. The ball found Daniel Sesay as he crashed the net and ensured the first goal of the evening. As the half continued the Tigers settled into a steady rhythm of winning the ball back quickly on defense, and sending the ball wide for a cross. The goals continued to flow in as a result. The second goal of the evening came from left midfielder Wilbur as he continued a back post run and tapped the ball in on a cross from Sesay. Sesay then scored the first of what would become a hat trick (3 goals) by the end of the night, by finishing a dropped ball by the keeper. Wilbur added a fourth at the 15 minute mark this time from Brandon Burkett as his shot spilled out of the keepers hands onto Wilbur's feet.
By the 20 minute mark the Tigers began to relax their play and lost focus as the Yellow Jackets began to threaten for the next 20 minutes of 1st half. Lebanon, gifted with speed up top, began to find opportunities attacking through the right flank. They drew several fouls, that set up dangerous set piece opportunities. With good strength and size the Jackets were able to test Issac Swanson in goal multiple times, after a rather quiet start. With 10 minutes in the 1st half Lebanon had a piece of bad luck as a goal was ruled offside by the Assistant Referee. Fortunes would reverse with 2 minutes left in the half. Lebanon's #19 struck a ball perfectly from 25 yards out beating an extended Swanson to the upper left of frame when he was given to much time in the center of the field.
Half time was all about not making second half another tale of two quarters, one good and one not so good. The team was challenged to come out the second half and ensure Lebanon wasn't allowed back into the game. Especially as the team struggles to score after the break. The boys responded quickly as Jerry Soria received the ball on the right flank fighting around their left back entering the 18 yard box and finished with a solid strike. Five minutes in they had gained a goal back and control of the game. The Tigers created quality chances as they regained their outside attack and began to find holes through the middle of the Lebanon defense. The Jackets back line did a nice job pulling the trap, causing the forwards to be offsides multiples times early in the half. As Long and Sesay adjusted to the defense the gaps opened up and caught the defense flat footed as they looked for the offside call. After getting the early goal the Jacket defense stiffened and began putting more pressure on our shots. Opportunities to score were still there, but faced more challenge getting cleanly to the net.
With the game in hand, concern about keeping players safe and rested allows time for others to see minutes in the game. Making his Varsity debut, Austin Slatcher was able to get in and contribute in the midfield, along with Dayton Grifin and David Havlin. Angel Longoria continued his strong run of play and sparked a flurry of goals in the final 10 minutes. Like a broken record, attacking from the outside, Soria fought to get the ball to the end line just outside the 18 yard box. After beating the defender he connected a perfect pass to Longoria, who finished his run to the near post touching the ball past a frozen keeper. Long and Sesay rounded out the night of scoring each with a goal and each assisting the other. The game ended the way it started, with quality play and good all around team effort. Long and Sesay have built up a strong chemistry as they each look to exploit the defense. The Tiger defense handled the speedy Jackets well, as they continue to improve their organization during the run of play.
The Tigers improved to 5-2 on the season and face a State ranked Nixa Eagles Thursday night at Nixa.
The JV Tiger squad continues to play well, and beat the Jackets 2-1. The team controls the ball and look to find feet no matter the pressure applied by the other team. The team is scoring more as they improve their finishing in front of goal. Coach Maddy thought the team played really well.