Neither team scored in the first half, but the Wildcats had a fair share of opportunities, missing shots while Green Mountain keeper Kyle Kemp kept others out of the net. Coach Buddy Hayford attributed the lack of productivity to a lethargic effort. The match began at 11 am and according to Hayford, it showed. “We had a lot of chances knocking on the door constantly but we were not sharp at finishing.”
Another reason for the difficulty in scoring was due to the strong play of Kemp in the Green Mountain goal. “Their keeper was making good saves left and right, and we missed some real golden opportunities,” said Hayford. “We were sleepwalking at first. We weren’t getting results.”
Twin Valley would not capitalize until a free kick with 20 minutes left. Eli Park took the kick from 40 yards out and placed it into an open middle-field in the penalty stripe area, where Nick Nilsen was within striking distance and beat Kemp. In a game that saw mostly defense and a streak of bad luck shots by the Wildcats, a 1-0 lead was an uneasy relief for Twin Valley.
It was better late than never for the Wildcats to get an insurance goal. With five minutes to play, Dal Nesbitt drew the keeper to his left, exposing the rest of the goal. Nesbitt served up a perfect ball across the front of the goal to the waiting foot of Morrow Bernard who easily scored his first goal of the season. Hayford finally felt a sense that the game belonged to his team. “The second goal was desperately needed because a one-score lead is never safe in soccer.”
Hayford once again was short players on his bench, missing five on his roster due to injury and illness. But the Wildcats keep winning and Hayford finds ways to keep adapting to a thus-far unpredictable season. Junior varsity players Juan Carlos Carranza and Evan Therrian were called up, providing a pool of players to keep the team fresh.
TV 6, Otter Valley 3
ARLINGTON- On a night when Twin Valley’s stingy defense allowed Otter Valley a rare three goals, the Wildcats’ offense came up huge, propelled by a four-goal game by Tony Tarr to preserve an undefeated season.
Tarr completed a hat trick only 25 minutes into the game on a free kick assist by Colin Lozito, who returned to the lineup after a three-game absence. In fact, all of Tarr’s goals would be on Lozito assists, and the combination of Lozito and Tarr would account for five goals and five assists on the night.
“It was a career night for Tony,” said Twin Valley Coach Buddy Hayford. “(He had) some of the most beautiful goals you’ll ever see, and Colin looked great last night, he didn’t miss a step.”
Tarr’s first goal came on a corner kick from Lozito only five minutes into the game. Lozito took a picture-perfect corner kick that swung right to Tarr’s head, which placed it where Otter Valley’s goalie had no chance of catching it. Lozito set up Tarr again seven minutes later on a cross from the top of the box.
Otter Valley would get two of their three goals in the first half when Jeff Corbett broke away from the defense for a one-on-one with Twin Valley goalie Sam Molner. Molner stood his ground but Corbett found a spot that was indefensible to make the score 2-1.
After Tarr scored his third goal, Lozito took a break from assisting others to get in on the scoring action. At the 31-minute mark he took a free ball from midfield, deked multiple Otter Valley defensemen, and took a one-on-one shot under the goalie’s arms. Even the new guy got a goal. Evan Therrien scored four minutes later with a 35-yard bomb off a Tarr pass. Therrien was called up last week to help Hayford’s squad that had been depleted by injuries. It was his first varsity career goal.
Corbett would score again just before the half, making the score 5-2 Twin Valley. Otter Valley would score once more to bring the lead down to two goals. Oskar Sadurski, who also plays on Poland’s junior national team, beat two Twin Valley defenders (a rare feat according to Hayford) and scored with 15 minutes to play.
Five minutes later, Tarr would wrap up his scoring bonanza on another cross pass from Lozito on a breakaway right up the middle, making the final score 6-3.
“It was tough giving up three goals for the boys. They weren’t too happy,” explained Hayford. “It’s been a pretty stingy defense this year, we’ve allowed four goals in six games and fortunately our offense was really clicking, so it all worked out.”
Hayford says the team will have its work cut out for them, as they wrap up the John Werner Tournament in Arlington Friday night at 7 pm against a Springfield team that defeated Arlington 7-0.