It was not the best start of the week for the JV boys with a 1-1 tie versus Wakefield and a 2-1 loss against Sanderson. Playing three games in four days the boys picked up plenty of injuries and they were overall exhausted by Tuesday night.
The Caps started on the road Monday at Wakefield looking to rebound for the close tie on Saturday. The game well enough with good ball movement and no shots on goal. The injuries started just ten minutes into the first half. Sophomore defender Dante Oliva re-injured the ankle he hurt in the Apex game Saturday so he was out. Immediately after subbing in for Dante, fellow defender sophomore Logan Hunter banged knees with an opposing player, lost feeling in his knee caps and was carted over to the bench. Just like that the Caps were down two starting defenders for the rest of the game with a bench running thin. The offense continued to play well, though, and sophomore Carter Gasia scored a clinical bottom left corner goal to make the score 1-0. Sophomore Peter Abatangelo almost scored with a jaw-dropping outside of the foot shot heading to the top left corner that was denied by an equally remarkable save by the Wakefield keeper. Unfortunately, minutes later, the Caps lost yet another player for the game. Freshman striker Than Oo suffered an ankle injury. We went into the half playing great for the last ten minutes and up by one goal, but we were down three starters.
The Caps came out for the second half less inspired though and couldn't manage to keep the ball. At times they exhibited the spark that they had in the first half, but it was rare and the boys appeared a lot less organized. This lack of team cohesiveness, in unison with controversial officiating, made for another frustrating game for the Caps. In the first half, the referees did an excellent job officiating and made little mistakes. This changed dramatically in the second period of play, however. At times, it appeared that the officials missed blatant off-sides calls and even overlooked an obvious foul in the box that really should have been a penalty. An off-sides mistake like this may have been a contributing factor to the goal scored by the Cougars midway through the second half. The officials weren’t only to blame on that goal, though. There was a lack of communication amid the Caps that led to many more mistakes offensively and defensively.
The final score of 1-1 seemed worse than the other ties which can probably be explained by the fact that it was the Caps fourth tie in a row.
With a long awaited return to our home field against the Sanderson Spartans, the Caps were hoping to finally generate a victory. This, however, did not happen. With Logan Hunter out for the game we started one man down. In addition, we lost the only goal scorer from last game Carter Gasia to a double yellow card in this game. Nevertheless, we played much better. With a bigger field we had more space to pass and were picking apart the Sanderson defense. We allowed only a few shots and early on in the game freshman Alex Dunne was again tripped up in the box. This time freshman Jack Eubank stepped up and slid it in bottom right corner to make it 1-0. Unfortunately, the Caps didn't keep up the good form. Towards the end of the half the midfield was getting tired and weren't getting back, leading to the Spartans positioning constantly right outside of the box. This ended up leading to a fluke handball just outside of the box. The Sanderson shooter put it in on the right side of the goal and tied up the game 1-1 right before halftime.
This score hurt the Caps’ morale to the point where we couldn't seem to get anything going in the second half. Aside from a few shots and some near misses, and even with lots of possession, we had little opportunity for scoring. Most of the Spartans' breaks were off counter-attacks but as the time ticked away they seemed to be retaining possession more and more. After a long spell of
control, they made an aggressive move towards the Caps' box. After an inside ball was played, an opposing attacker dribbled across the outer edges and was miraculously "fouled" by another Broughton defender. Sanderson put away the penalty to make it 2-1. Just to add salt to the wound, the player that was fouled landed on defender Dante Oliva's right leg, causing him to re-injure his right leg again. He had to be escorted off the field. After this, the Caps were too distraught and frustrated to create any chances to put them back in the game. The loss ended the streak of ties, but not how the Caps intended.
The Caps hope to rest, recover and rebound next Monday at home against Heritage.