Generals strike early, fend off Governors
QUICKSBURG — Last week, Stonewall Jackson’s boys soccer team squeezed out an overtime win over Nelson County on the road to open their season. In Tuesday’s rematch, the Generals again came out on top, but this time in more resounding fashion.
Stonewall Jackson scored two goals in the first half and stifled the Governors’ offensive attack with a strong defensive effort over the final 40 minutes to pick up a 2-0 non-district win in its home opener.
“This was a much better game, oh my gosh,” Generals coach Caleb Golladay said. “I think one thing that stands out to me is the fact that we’re actually kind of moving the ball. Last game, even the guys after the game said we didn’t know what to do, so we just kind of scrambled. That’s how they played in overtime. That’s how they played in the last 10 minutes, just kind of went after the ball wherever it was. The way they passed the ball tonight, that was definitely one thing [that stood out].”
The Generals (2-0) showed some of that improved ball movement quickly on Tuesday night, as senior Adam Goodier and junior Angel Hernandez-Dimas teamed up on a nice combination for a goal less than 10 minutes in.
With the wind in Stonewall’s favor in the first half, Goodier chipped a through ball past midfield and over Nelson County’s defensive back line, hitting Hernandez-Dimas in stride. Hernandez-Dimas raced past a pair of Governors defenders down the right side of the field and a fired a shot from the top of the penalty box. The ball sailed past the outstretched arms of Nelson County keeper Mason Thompson and into the top right corner of the goal to give Stonewall a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
“Perfect ball,” Golladay said of Goodier’s pass. “It was a great ball and [Hernandez-Dimas] kind of got it off a little late, but once he got it off he kind of bent it upper corner. … I told him this time, I said I know you can beat people. Get the ball and beat somebody. And he definitely proved that early when he got that first goal.”
The Generals padded their lead in the 25th minute, when junior Pedro Jacuinde gathered the ball on the left side of the box after a deflection of his own corner kick and curled a shot past a diving Thompson (nine saves) and into the right side of the goal.
“We stepped to the ball, we were more focused and we were on our home ground,” Jacuinde said. “We didn’t want to lose here.”
Stonewall Jackson’s defense took over from there, as the Generals’ defensive line comprised of Goodier, Ben Rosenberger, Tyler Lacek and Alejandro Joaquin limited Nelson County (0-5) to five shots in the second half. The Governors — who played the final 17 minutes a man short after a player was penalized with a red card — had their best look at the goal in the second half came with 10 minutes to play, when junior Dylan Sweikert dribbled himself open and fired a shot from the top of the box that was batted down by Generals freshman keeper Juan Jacuinde (six saves).
“The first half was kind of iffy, had a couple times where they got in on goal but second half they eliminated any threat in the back,” Golladay said. “Everything was kept to the outside and the biggest thing about that was the fact that they stepped to the ball. The first half they kind of let the ball go, whatever, but the second half all my defenders stepped hard.”
Stonewall Jackson enjoyed a 16-12 advantage in shots in the win.
Goodier, who moved to the back line in the second half after one of Stonewall’s defenders left the match with an injury midway through the first half, said the Generals’ teamwork along the back line was the key to Stonewall’s defense on Tuesday.
“We were playing together and midfield helped back more,” Goodier said. “We really just, if somebody got beat somebody else would help over. We just really helped each other.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org