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WCHS soccer surges in second half
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The Warren County soccer team ran into district opponent White County Thursday evening. The Warriors kept up with a fierce pace throughout the first 40 minutes of play and fought to 1-1 tie at the half.
But the Pioneers put the smackdown on White County in the second half in claiming a 3-1 victory. The win gives Warren County second place in the district standings.
In the early part of the first half both teams looked to establish their offenses. Warren County got things started on the attack and Zack Murray and Cole Stinson controlled the ball near the midfield area. The ball was quickly pushed ahead to Fernando Goana, who raced up the side and cut back to the inside for a shot attempt that was just off target.
White County took over and they was on the attack as the Warriors passed the ball and cut through passing lanes to get back to midfield. After several failed attempts to break through the defense, the Warriors went down deep on the left side and the crossing shot from the corner went just wide.
Warren County picked up near midfield again as Cole Millard and Ethan Bandy worked against a physical White County team. Millard looked to Evan Reynolds who raced down the right side with a Warrior defender keeping up step for step. Reynolds crossing shot to Goana was just over the top. The goalie from the Warriors was constantly shouting instructions as he moved inside the keeper’s area and for much of the first half he was able to withstand Warren County’s assault.
The only Pioneer to break through the defense and score in the first half was Pioneer Richard Gonzalez. White County responded before the half and tied the game at 1-1 heading into the break.
The Pioneers looked fresh out of the halftime break and they held possession of the ball for much of the remainder of the game. The Pioneer defense stepped up huge with guys like Max Gallagher, Conner Moore, and Adam Pumarino, who pushed their limits and stayed just ahead of the White County offense.
The Warriors did come close in the second half when goalie Jacob Dodd was playing way out of the box and White County had a shot so open it must have surprised the striker. The shot went just left of the goal. The shot would have given White County the lead.
The pace after the half was just as quick, if not quicker than the first and Warren County launched shot after shot. With just over 15 minutes to play, Bandy was the beneficiary of a ball that was supposed to be cleared out by White County but instead Bandy sent the ball into the back of the net at very high velocity and the Pioneers went up 2-1.
Not long after Bandy banged in the second point, Warren County went on the attack. Reynolds went deep on the attack with a shot, and the ball ricocheted off the crossbar. Next trip up the field, it was Reynolds again with a header that just missed off a crossing shot from Goana.
Warren County’s pursuit of the ball was relentless and the Pioneers were determined to get it at all cost. Juan Casas dominated the midfield in the second half along with the other Pioneer players mentioned. Warren County’s final shot came on another missed opportunity to clear the ball and Bandy was in the right place at the right time. Bandy boomed his second goal with less than 10 minutes to play to make it a 3-1 lead.
White County went on a barrage of kicks with what seemed to be of no real direction except the fact it was the opposite direction from their goal. Warren County kept in pursuit of the ball wherever it went and White County continued to try and play keep away as time ticked off the clock and the final whistle blew.
The Pioneers held their foot on the gas for the entire second half and defeated the Warriors by a final score of 3-1 at home Thursday evening. Warren County finished the regular season second in the district. The Pioneers first postseason game will be May 5 with an opponent to be determined.