Patriots spread the wealth in blowout
By Brad Fauber
STEPHENS CITY — Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy’s boys soccer team has placed an emphasis on spreading the ball around the pitch this season and it showed on Tuesday against visiting Mountain View Christian Academy.
The Patriots rolled to an 8-0 win over an overmatched MVCA squad, as six different players recorded goals for SVCA while holding the Conquerors without a shot attempt in the match that was shortened due to the mercy rule.
“This year we really want to play a possession-based game, which is what we try to do every year, but we have a team that’s really centralized around that,” said Patriots junior forward Josh Smallwood, who had two goals in the win. “So we’re going to come out here and tie a lot of passes together and try to get those good through balls.”
SVCA (3-0-1) was relentless in its offensive attack on Tuesday, particularly in the first half. The Patriots outshot MVCA 29-0 and fired 23 shots in the first 40 minutes as they took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
The Patriots’ attack needed little time to heat up, as they peppered shots at Conquerors (0-1-1) goalkeeper Matthew Jolin (13 saves) from the opening kick. Jolin made four saves in the opening six minutes of play before SVCA senior forward Peter Harrison sent a cross into the box to teammate William Steele, who planted the ball into the net to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Harrison tacked on the first of his two goals six minutes later when he gathered a pass from teammate Ian Frommack and scorched a curling shot from the top of the penalty box into the top right corner of the net.
“We really just came out wanting to possess the ball and that’s what we were going to focus on today,” Harrison said.
“I thought we did a good job moving the ball around. That was our goal and I felt like we accomplished that.”
Freshman Sam Mason extended the Patriots’ lead to 3-0 in the 18th minute when he scored a goal off an assist by senior Morgan Beaty. Six minutes later, freshman Micah Holland made a great play on the ball to keep it from going out of bounds before crossing a pass right in front of the net to Bradley Castle, who scored to give SVCA a 4-0 lead.
Smallwood got into the action with back-to-back goals in the 28th and 33rd minutes, with his first goal coming as Mason’s pass into the box was deflected by Jolin right to Smallwood in the middle of the box for an easy shot opportunity.
Smallwood’s second goal came when Frommack snuck a pass by a charging Jolin in the box, setting up a wide-open shot for Smallwood that gave SVCA a 6-0 lead.
Frommack, a freshman, also assisted on Kenton Geyer’s breakaway goal in the 34th minute to give him a team-high three assists in the win.
“Ian has been a great addition for us this year,” Patriots coach Dustin Wheelock said. “He’s very technical, sees the field really well, just has a very good touch on them. Right now he’s just filling that center-mid role. He’s doing a good job with it. We lost two center-midfielders last year, so him and Steven Bell have stepped in there and Chris Mason is still there right behind them.”
SVCA slowed the pace in the second half but still maintained a tight grip on ball possession, and MVCA didn’t have any success getting the ball across midfield with any regularity.
Harrison scored his second goal of the game on a cross right in front of the net by Holland to give SVCA an 8-0 lead in the 58th minute, and the match was ended shortly after.
“When you play some tight games you see some things, little things that you really need to change, really need to grow on. Today was a nice time to really dedicate some time — we talked a lot about spreading out lot more,” Wheelock said. “We’ve been narrowing down the field a little bit. Not a lot, just a little, but that just gives us that much less time on the ball. It was nice today to get a chance to really drill that down.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or email@example.com