After a tough 3-1 loss to Randolph College, the Guilford soccer squad was determined to release their frustration on Ferrum College. Coach Bateson and the team knew they had to get a result of a win and nothing less. The night before the game, the team knew that the weather conditions weren’t going to be the best. Heavy rain was expected for the entire day up in Ferrum, Virginia, and that it did. When the bus arrived to its destination, it started to down pour. Some of us on the team thought the game might get cancelled and postponed because of how hard it was raining. The postponing of the game never happened, as you all know!
As Guilford College took the field, they were in awe when they saw the condition of the field, which only got worse as the game progressed. During warm-ups, it literally was almost impossible to pass the ball five feet without it stopping in its tracks due to the puddles that were forming on the field. So these skilled players had to scoop the ball up to themselves if they wanted to dribble and chip every pass that they wanted to try to complete to their teammate. Let us not forget the temperature of 62 that they were playing in, in addition to the pouring rain.
When the game started, it was quickly noticed that it was going to be a tough, sloppy and scrappy game. Both teams were trying to adapt to these conditions, but didn’t seem to be doing so very well. Many players on the field found themselves toe poking the ball to get it up the field. This was due to the fact that since you couldn’t pry your kicking foot out of the ground fast enough to have perfect form, it led to quick toe pokes up the field. The Guilford team seemed to possess, if you considered it possessing, the ball better than Ferrum’s team in the first half. Michael Robles had a couple chances on net, but the puddles denied some of the through balls that were played to him. Drew Gunter had a toe basher from about 30 yards out that cruised right over the cross bar of the goal. Bryce Hunsucker had an outstanding touch and turn off a throw in, but his shot was just wide of the back post. Hugh Griffis had a nice flick onto goal at the end of the half, but was saved by the 6-foot wide puddle that lay directly in front of the goal line. The keeper got up and scrambled through the water and get on top of the ball. These were just a few of the key chances Guilford had on goal. Towards the end of the half, Ferrum’s offense combined several passes, yes mind boggling I know, to create a through ball rolling towards goal that, right back, Tamar El-Amoor cleared to keep the score at 0-0. With only 17 seconds to go in the half, as keeper John Shine chargers to collect the ball, a Ferrum striker follows through and kicks the keepers left arm. Shine was done for the game and Michael MacVane would take his place for the remainder of the game. And those were the results of just the first half.
During halftime there wasn’t much to be said to the Guilford team, other than, keep the ball out of the back of the net. Simple enough.
Second half starts and conditions seem to be getting a little better. Conditions pertaining to the weather, not the condition of the field, that progressively got worse as the game continued. Again, the Guilford team possessed the ball more than Ferrum in the second half. The Guilford team wasn’t going to be stopped by these awful conditions. They started to ping the ball around, like the great team that they are, where they could find decent ground to do so. It was somewhat difficult to get past Ferrum’s right back due to his great ability to flop. This lead to numerous fouls on his side of the field, many of which were questionable, making it hard for Guilford to keep a steady flow of the game. The Guilford team kept attacking the goal, chances after chances, shots after shots, corner kicks after corner kicks. Some players that contributed to all these chances were Ronnie Castellanos, Richard Page, Chris Matteo, Greg Carnovale and many others that helped contribute to the team. With about a minute and a half left in the second half, a threw ball was played to Ronnie Castellanos. As Castellanos and who else, none other than the right back for Ferrum, were chasing down the ball, the right back was either fouled by Ronnie or flopped once again. Ronnie pushed through it and buried his shot, but was called back for a foul. The two teams were still at 0-0 at the end of the second half, making the game go into over time. (Wow this is getting long isn’t it…)
Going into overtime, Guilford seemed to become more serious about winning this game. This part of the game requires each individual to be mentally and physically strong to give it their all. The two teams did all that they could do with the condition the field was in. Both teams had equal amount of chances in the overtime period, but couldn’t finish them. As the clock hit zero, both teams were at a stale mate and the game was over. The final score of the game was 0-0 (OT). It was a rough bus ride home for most of the players, considering the result of the game. This very talented Guilford team has to come out next game, September 29th, at home, with an edge to dominate and defeat Emory and Henry College. Come out to support this great team tomorrow night at home!
Jared Dapkevich, Soph. (#21)