PHCC men suffer first loss of season

September 3, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer1230069_627053677326255_1059857256_n

While the fouls during the second half of Sunday’s NJCAA Region X tilt between Patrick Henry Community College and USC-Salkehatchie trimmed down after the first half, that didn’t mean the match became any less physical.

With portions of the game resembling more like a wrestling match, tempers flared and each team was forced to keep their composure in a very contentious battle. Finally someone cracked and as a result changed the final 15 minutes of the match.

Patrick Uzi’s soft red card for dissent forced the Patriots to play down a man and that’s when the Indians finally broke through with a pair of late goals in handing PHCC its first loss of the season 2-0 at the Smith River Sports Complex.

Despite the call, Salkehatchie controlled the second half of play and was dangerous even before the call. The Patriots didn’t record a shot in the second half, while the Indians managed seven, forcing PHCC goalkeeper Bill Ison to be active. But there was little question, however, that the error in judgment forced Patriots head coach Scott Haywood to switch up is formation and it paid dividends for their opponent.

“This was awesome. You don’t play for the 12-1 wins, the 4-0 wins, you play for these kind of games,” Haywood said. “It’s a learning process and nothing against our previous opponents, but we walked through them. We walked through our first four games and this could be a defining moment for them and they realized that they’re not the best. Complacency sort of set in, not that they weren’t ready to play. It’s a learning process and we know that we aren’t all that and a bag of chips.

“I knew before that we still had stuff to work on, but now they know which is good. Another thing is that their heads are down and that’s OK. It means they care and want to get better.”

PHCC (4-1, 1-1) had coasted through its first four matches winning the last two by scores of 8-1 and 12-1. It got a completely different contest Sunday, one that at times had the Patriots on their heels. Ricardo Foster was able to make a nice individual run into the right side of the box in the 86th minute and fired a low liner of a shot past Ison to the far post for the game-winner.

Salkehatchie then doubled the lead just minutes later when Mamadou Ka was able to weave his way through a pair of defenders and then side-step a charging Ison to poke home an extra goal for good measure.

“I thought we had an advantage in our technical ability and our athleticism but that doesn’t always translate into a win. Both teams played extremely competitive and it was just a battle out there,” Salkehatchie head coach Bill Glass said. “I knew it was a matter of time even before the goal that we would get one, if the guys remained disciplined, because if we didn’t we would end up giving up a goal. And after they lost a man it changed all that.

“I was really happy with this result because we don’t have one star and have to score goals by ball movement and it’s been a battle so far to get the guys to settle down and do what they’re capable of. We were unselfish in the final third and also had possession in the final third which is what we’re trying to do.”

The Patriots didn’t have much of anything going in the second half as space in middle of the field was tight. Anytime they did manage to break open some space, various touches on the ball ultimately let them down.

“Our first touch was really off and we’d take three or four touches to get the ball on the carpet, where they were working one and two touches. From an offensive stand point when you take two, three, four touches they’re on you too quick. That was one of our problems and we also didn’t spread the ball out as much as we should have.”

There were 22 fouls called in the first half as opposed to just nine in the second half. The Indians held a comfortable advantage in shots, 11-4 with eight on frame, forcing Ison into making six saves.

The Patriots return to action at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against Richard Bland College at the SRSC.


Filed under: Men's Soccer