By Brad Fauber
WOODSTOCK -- Central's boys soccer team, like every other team in the area, has had limited practice time outside due to the weather. So when the Falcons took to the pitch for its season opener against visiting Warren County on Friday night, head coach Ted Poor was simply hoping to see some positives.
Poor saw plenty from the Falcons, who got two goals each from sophomores Tyler Bosserman and Taishi Ukai in a 4-2 Bull Run District/Conference 28 win over the Wildcats.
"I'm really pleased with the way we passed. The ball movement was beautiful," Poor said. "We've been working hard on possession and moving the ball. I was just hoping I would see something good, and I was real pleased with what I saw."
The Falcons got on the board 16 minutes into the match, as Ukai swiped the ball from a Warren County defender and found Bosserman with a pass into the penalty box. Bosserman then sent a shot off the right post and into the back of the net to give Central an early 1-0 lead.
"I saw that it was going down the left side and [Ukai] was going to the middle. I just saw it and I just cut to the middle towards the goal. He hit me real quick. He just found me really nicely," Bosserman said.
Central (1-0, 1-0 Bull Run) struck again just five minutes later, as junior midfielder Franklin Hernandez passed the ball ahead to Ukai on a breakaway. Ukai -- a foreign exchange student from Japan -- snuck his shot by diving goalkeeper Tristan Ward to give the Falcons a two-goal lead.
"I didn't know what we were going to get from him, but he has tremendous ball skills," Poor said of Ukai, who also had two assists in his Central soccer debut. "His energy level today was pretty spectacular. If he keeps that up all year, with the way the way the rest of the guys are playing, it's going to be a fine season."
Ukai and Bosserman connected again 14 minutes into the second half, as Bosserman got loose behind Warren County's defense on a breakaway of his own. Ukai passed the ball ahead to Bosserman, who found the net to give Central a 3-0 lead with 26 minutes to play.
The Wildcats (0-2, 0-2) -- playing without defensemen Blake Steele and Alec Alban -- scored their first goal of the season in the 65th minute when senior Nickolas Bourgoin fired a shot from the top of the penalty box that got past Falcons goalkeeper Jose Martinez, but Ukai tallied his second goal off another Hernandez assist five minutes later.
Warren County senior Christopher Somers tallied the Wildcats' final goal with 17 seconds remaining in the game.
The Wildcats held a 13-11 shot advantage in the match, and Martinez finished with five saves for Central.
"We started too slow. We gave the other team the initiative," Wildcats coach Manual Alban said. "I want to attribute to not being out and practicing and me being on top of the kids all the time and stuff like that. I mean, it's no excuse. The game should be played the way it's supposed to be."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org