PHCC clips Guilford

August 27, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

For the better part of its first season, the Patrick Henry Community College men’s soccer team had inconsistencies in finding the back of the net.darien

Through two games this season, however, scoring hasn’t seemed to be an issue.

The Patriots scored twice in the first half and then once more in the opening minutes of the second half to defeat Guilford College 3-2 on Sunday at the Smith River Sports Complex. PHCC (2-0) scored four goals in its season opener Saturday for a total of seven goals in its first two games of the 2013 season.

“I think our confidence is pretty high and the center-mids are distributing the ball well and we’re finishing when we need to,” PHCC sophomore striker Jake Sharpe said. “Our defense plays exceptional, but if we don’t score, we don’t win. I don’t think we have to go so direct and instead look to pass and find openings and not just go for goal all the time.”

Sharpe’s goal in the 53rd minute proved to be the game winner. The Quakers made things interesting with a goal inside the final two minutes, resulting in a 3-2 game.

For the second straight game, three of the Patriots’ goals Sunday came from different players.

PHCC head coach Scott Haywood said after Saturday’s win that he was pleased to not only score first but also to score in the opening half, something his team failed to do consistantly last season. It now has scored four of its seven goals in the opening 45 minutes.

On Sunday, the Patriots struck first in the 19th minute when Jose Damian produced a direct kick just outside the penalty box on a hard run through the middle.

Free kick specialist Darian Martin then stepped up and delivered a quality strike from a little left of center and 20 yards out. He bent his free kick perfectly up over the wall to the upper right corner, sparking a wild celebration on the PHCC bench.

“Usually I’ll just drill it, but they put too many people in the wall for me to drill it right at them,” Martin said. “There was no opening so I decided to bend it right around them.”

The lead was short lived, however, when Jared Dapkevich found some space at the top of the box and beat PHCC goalkeeper Bill Ison with a well-placed shot low and hard inside the left post in the 24th minute.

But it didn’t take long for the Patriots to retake the lead as the attacking wave of substitutes made its mark. Sophomore Uli Rios sprung down the right channel into the box and fired a shot that was saved out wide. Fellow sophomore Carlos Morales collected the rebound and whipped the ball back toward the penalty marker where Mandela Kafi directed a header off the left post. The ball deflected back across the six-yard box where Kafi hammered home the rebound for a 2-1 lead.

“You stretch out the defense when you play more wide, and it lets the other team know that you’re not only attacking straight up the middle, it forces the defense to open up everything,” Haywood said.

The Patriots managed seven shots in the first half with six of them on target.

PHCC then was able to get the third goal inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half stemming from another restart. Freshman Daniel Maldonado won a header in the box on a free kick sent in from the right sideline and sent it back toward the near post. Sharpe made the correct run and beat the Guilford keeper to the near post for a 3-1 lead.

“It was 2-1 at halftime and I reminded the guys that about 75 percent of all goals are scored in the first five minutes of the second half,” said Haywood of his team’s early pressure in the second half.

The Patriots won the majority of possession for the better part of the second 45 minutes, allowing just three shots into the 80th minute. The Quakers, though, wouldn’t go quietly, upping the pressure in a bid to make the game close late.

On a free kick near the left corner flag in the 89th minute, Ethan Gunter was able to head home a delivery from Erik Collazo on the back post. But it was too little too late for Guilford.

PHCC hosts Virginia Western at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the SRSC.

Filed under: Men's Soccer