Wildcats, Madison County battle to tie

FRONT ROYAL — Warren County freshman Stuart Ashley scored the game-tying goal in the 63rd minute of regulation to knot Madison County 1-1 on Tuesday night in Bull Run District boys soccer.

The 1-1 match, which went into double-overtime with neither team taking advantage, was the second non-loss for a Wildcat program (1-3-1 Bull Run, same record overall) after three straight losses to open the season. After having been knocked off by Manassas Park, Central and George Mason, coach Manuel Alban’s team dropped Rappahannock County 3-0 on March 27.

Madison County dropped to 2-2 in the district with the same record overall.

“We were a little too nice in the first half, but we met their aggression in the second half and got back into it,” Alban said.

He might have been thinking of Ashley — the football team’s placekicker — with a major assist from Warren County No. 2 goalkeeper Taylor Corwin. Corwin replaced regular Josh Butler, who was shaken up, but was OK after the match.

Madison County had enjoyed a 9-2 advantage in shots on goal when Ashley jammed in a shot against Mountaineers goalkeeper Ben Landolt in the second half. The ball ricocheted off an opponent right into Ashley’s foot. He guided the ball back through the net for the 1-all tie.

“The ball bounced around in front of the goal and I was able to rebound it in from the side,” said Ashley. “One of our players had headed me the ball and the goalie cheated up just a little, so I was able to get inside him.”

Ashley’s kick came after Madison County had dominated offense for more than 67 minutes. The Mountaineers attempted six goal attempts, with one creasing the net in the first half and then made a similar half-dozen goal attempts in the second 20 minutes without luck. Madison’s Alehandro Tenorio led all shot-makers with four boots on goal.

Warren, meanwhile, tried two shots on goal in the first half, then made good on Ashley’s shot out of six attempted in the second half.

Following Ashley’s goal, Madison sophomore Tenorio tried his third shot on goal to no avail. The Wildcats came back as Ricky Platter found Ashley again in the box. This time Ashley’s kick went wide in the 54th minute.

Each team had shots miss within the last two minutes of the 80-minute regulation. After Madison County’s Tommaso Verlato’s shot, Warren’s Matt Moore’s try on the next-to-last play of regulation also missed.

Madison County’s only score came in the 16th minute of the first half. Junior Jesse Lynch booted in the ball from his right into the far left corner.

Following an indirect kick by the Mountaineers, Wildcats goalie Butler got mashed in a scrum just in front of his defensive goal. He came out in the 21st minute, replaced by Corwin.

“I’ve played goal, but this is the first time I’ve played goal this year,” Corwin said. “It was exciting to get the chance.”

In the first half, Warren County’s Butler and Corwin stopped three of the Mountaineers’ four shots on goal. Corwin was good on his only attempt of the second half.