The Hargrave Military Varsity Soccer Team began their season with a hard fought win over the Lynchburg Christian Bulldogs by a score of 2-1. Led by captains Kayode Ogunnaike, Charles Amos, Garret Torney, and Chris Martelli.
The Tigers came out in the first half ready to play, as they controlled the flow of the game in the early going. Forwards Alnor Rodriguez and Kayode Ogunnaike immediately put pressure on the Bulldog’s defense using their speed and maneuverability with the ball to create several scoring chances. Several opportunities eluded the Tigers, though, in the first half, as scoring chances either sailed wide of the goalmouth, or were halted by the great play of the Bulldog’s goalkeeper. The Tigers found themselves down at the half by a score of 1-0, after a free-kick blast from 25 yards out went into the back of the net for the Bulldogs in the 22nd minute of play. Goalkeeper Garret Torney made a great effort to save the attempt, but just came up short of pushing the shot wide of the goal.
Hargrave, though, continued to put the pressure on the Bulldogs defense, and once again took control of the flow of the game in the second half. The Tigers then struck in the 51st minute with a goal by Kayode Ogunnaike to notch the match at 1-1. Nathan LeNoir, with a perfectly threaded through ball in behind the defense sent Ogunnaike in a break away.
Ogunnaike hit a well-placed shot into the left corner of the goal, leaving the Bulldog’s goalkeeper no opportunity to make the save. Then, in the 61st minute of play, the Tigers struck once again to take a 2-1 lead over the Bulldogs.
Austin Newman gave the Tigers the lead and the eventual game-winning goal. On a long pass from John Yu out of the back, Newman was sent in on a break away, and with a blast from just inside the 18-yard box, Newman buried the shot into the left side of the net. The 2-1 tally would be the final score of the match, but not if it wasn’t for the hard-fought defensive effort of the Tigers who held the Bulldogs scoreless in the second-half.
The hard-working defense of John Yu, Dee Okunowo, Nick Wynne, Joseph Shea, Charles Amos, Chris Martelli, and goalkeeper Garret Torney, with 7 saves in the match, all contributed to holding the Bulldog’s attack at bay. The Tigers ended the match with 22 shots, while holding their opponent to only 9 shots on the day.
The Tigers (1-0, overall) (1-0, conference) will travel to Westover Christian for their next scheduled match-up.