PHCC Men Roll

August 27, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

For a season opening game, Patrick Henry Community College men’s soccer coach Scott Haywood was pleased with a lot of things.lucas P

He may not have been overzealous, but considering his team scored four goals and allowed none, he certainly wasn’t upset with the Patriots’ 90-minute effort Saturday.

PHCC scored a pair of goals in each half to blank visiting USC-Lancaster 4-0 in a NJCAA Region X match at the Smith River Sports Complex. It was not only scoring first that had Haywood smiling, but it was the fact they scored multiple goals in the first half that left him with a bit of added confidence going forward.

“We were playing a 4-4-2, and Nick Clark is an awesome center midfielder and at times I gave our offense a chance to utilize that center-mid to push up into the attack,” Haywood said. “The more numbers we can get up top, the better it’ll be for us. One of the things last year with a new team was feeling comfortable enough to push numbers forward and try to score.”

Four different players scored for the Patriots (1-0, 1-0) as Oscar Ulloa opened the scoring in the 17th minute, while Darian Martin capped things off with a penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Despite a more evenly-played second half, PHCC was able to salt the game away with two goals inside the final 15 minutes. Haywood said he was pleased with his team’s ability to see the game out and win the final quarter-hour of the match.

“The last 15 minutes you could tell that we took over and started moving the ball around better,” Haywood said. “I could have played any set of 11 and still have them hold out for the whole 90 minutes. For a first game, even when the coach is stressed, it was good.”

The variety of combinations were seen throughout the second half when the Patriots held a 2-0 lead by intermission. With the ability to play with an early lead Haywood said it was helpful to get in as many players as he could. It was an attempt to find the right mixture of substitutes and the right groups of 10 field players that he hopes to utilize frequently as the season progresses.

“I probably put like five different combinations of 10 field players out there together, which is good and gives me a lot of options,” Haywood said. “Now it just comes down to narrowing it down and see who’s fit and who works well together under pressure. I think our game (today) will be a good test.”

PHCC caps its opening weekend at 4 p.m. today against Guilford Tech in a non-region match back at the SRSC.

On Saturday, PHCC wasn’t quiet in the shoots department, totaling 15 shots — 10 on target — in the match. It also saw nine different players register a shot. Also, all goals came in the run of play and the penalty award was a direct result of the Patriots’ ability to constantly open up space at the top of the box.

Ulloa was the beneficiary of a quick one-touch through ball by Jake Sharpe up the left channel as Ulloa then finished the nice exchange with a well-placed shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead. After the Lancers were able to push forward late in the first half, they didn’t capitalize on their best scoring opportunity of the match. Jacob McDonald blasted an open look on the far post over the bar after being left open on a cross from the left wing.

Just seconds later, a pair of sophomores doubled the PHCC lead when Mandela Kafi slid a square-ball Uli Rios just left of the penalty marker. He made one touch back to his left and was able to turn and shoot one past USC-Lancaster keeper Jose Pablo inside the left post.

“It takes the opposing team out of their play,” Haywood said of the early goal. “They start to force things, hurry things and it becomes on their part a lot of long ball and stuff like that. With the exception of two or three games last year, we scored no goals in the first half. Even with nine wins, everything came in the second half, so it was a nice change.”

The Lancers managed just three shots in the second half, none of them coming from inside the 18.

While the Patriots didn’t have many scoring chances early in the second half, they poured it on inside the final 15 minutes. Bryson Collins delivered a solid cross from right wing directly to the thigh of starting freshman — one of three — Jose Damian. Damian was making a straight run inside the six-yard box. He finished the cross with a volley off his thigh to the roof of the goal, more or less sealing the victory.

Filed under: Men's Soccer