Guilford College hosted the Hampden- Sydney Tigers Wednesday night pulling off a dramatic win, leaving the Quakers with an 8-3-3 overall record and a 4-1-1 record in the O.D.A.C.
The game started after a passionate warm-up in which the only thing on the Quakers mind was to beat the team that was picked to win the conference. This energy then carried itself into the first fifteen minutes of the match which the Quakers spent predominately defending the Tigers. During this beginning fifteen minutes our top goal-scoring forwards, Jordan Alexander and Freddy Gomez - whom were playing the wing forwards - dropped back to help thwart the Tigers consistent onslaughts. This left junior captain Ethan Bird up top to lead the attack when the Quakers regained possession of the ball.
The Tigers had one great opportunity in the first fifteen minutes. A shot bounced off the lower left post causing the Guilford crowed to sigh in relief and the visiting Tiger fans to moan in vexation. But thanks to the great defending of a solid back line, the Tigers attempts were reprimanded for the entire first half. The back line consists of such players as Griffen Gilbert, another junior captain whom has a quick and an audible presence on the field; Tamer El- Amoor a strong and moxie player with a bank load of endurance; Drew Gunter a solid sweeper whom holds and maintains a Herculean authority when playing his position; and Jared Dapkevich a solid player whom has an impeccable touch and is always on the look for the best and smartest decision in where to distribute the ball. Last but not least Marko Mandalinic, a freshmen goalie, had many saves throughout the entire game and was the overall catalyst in insuring the Quakers late victory.
The Quakers finally had a break in the middle of the half. Sophomore Freddy Gomez was fouled in the box. The Quakers were awarded a penalty kick in which Freddy put away with no problem.
Towards the end of the first half, such players as Chris Matteo - a player whom started the game and has a shot so hard that it could easily take out half a city block - was subbed out as well as Jordan Alexander, Ethan Bird, Sean Dwyer, and later on Freddy Gomez in order to give them a bit of a respite before the second half. To compensate for their absence, head coach Jeff Batson subbed in Eto’O Kemda-Kemtsop, Michael Robles, Hugh Griffis, Amir Moore, Greg Carnovale, and later Josh Berry into the game. This group brought a strong presence, from Greg’s constant hustle to Eto’o’s alacrity to play and do a great job. The Quakers had an opportunity semi late in the half in which freshmen Josh Berry had a shot but was reprimanded by the Tiger goalkeeper. The ball kept bouncing and the attack was finally quashed by Amir Moore whom volleyed it left foot but hit the ball just a bit wide.
It is important to understand the energy and passion the new Guilford College freshmen present to the team when they come in and play. Although young they are all full of potential and as a soccer player I am happy to have them on the team and further see them develop.
At half time the Quaker Coach Bateson delivered a game plan, which helped the Quakers take the game in the second half. Coach stated, “You guys have seen their best soccer.” On this note the Quakers knew they had to pick the game up a notch and take the game to Hampden-Sydney, because in end sometimes a man has to take what he deserves, and that was the overall tone of the second half.
The Quakers started out the second half with relatively the same formation as when they started the game. Such players as Richard Page, whom played mostly the entire game, bring a constant energy and strength the team. A few ways to describe his playing style is that he takes command of situations, and his toughness would probably intimidate any U.F.C professional fighter as he brings a heroic feel to the squad with a never backing down mentality.
The Quakers started off stronger then they did the first half but they soon gave up a goal to the Tigers. The score was then tied at one and the Quakers knew they had to do something in order to take the game for themselves. After various shots and attempts by Richard Page, Freddy Gomez, and a breakaway shot by Amir (who hit the ball just a bit wide) the Quakers were then feeling a bit of pressure as the Tiger attack still kept coming. But scoring for the Quakers proved not the be a stymie as Amir Moore, off an assist from Michael Robles, scored the second goal sending it low into the right corner.
This goal was a symbol of all the hard work and effort the Quakers had put into the game and would not of happened if it weren’t due to the passion of the entire team. From the starting line-up, to the guys viewing the game from the bench, everyone had a say in that game. For as I would put it, a man’s worth is not measured from the accumulation of his successes, but his ability to transcend past adversity with a positive mindset. The Quakers were then able to deny the Tigers through the rest of the game and win 2-1 leaving them third in the O.D.A.C. standings with thirteen points.
-Amir Moore, So.