Wolford scores winner for Falcons

WOODSTOCK – Central’s boys soccer team generally likes to avoid running its attacks right up the middle against opposing defenses. As head coach Ted Poor puts it, that’s simply not the Falcons’ style. But that scheme worked just well enough for Central on Thursday night against visiting Warren County.

Falcons junior Korey Wolford streaked through the middle of the Wildcats defense for a goal off a nicely placed pass by senior Franklin Hernandez midway through the second half, and Central’s defense held off a late push by Warren County to hold on for a 1-0 Bull Run District/Conference 28 win.

“The first half we were kind of like giving it a lot to the outside and it wasn’t really working,” Wolford said. “So we thought if maybe we could put it through the middle a little bit more, use the outside still but get it a little bit into the middle that we could try to get some goals.”

After both teams went scoreless in the first half, Central (1-1) opened the second half by sending several through balls through the middle of the Wildcats’ (0-2) defense, only to see them scooped up by Wildcats goalkeeper Michael Moore.

The Falcons’ fourth attempt, however, ended with the game’s only goal.

Hernandez was able to send an looping pass over Warren County’s back line to the top the penalty box, where Wolford was waiting to corral it. Wolford converted the 15-yard shot as he sent the ball over the charging Moore and into the right side of the net to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute.

“I was standing there right on the defense. I don’t remember how Franklin got it but I saw the open run and Franklin kicked it, dropped it right in front of my feet and [I] chipped it over the goalie and got it in,” Wolford said.

Central came right back and sent two more through balls into the box over the next three minutes – both of which were harmlessly scooped up by Moore (eight saves) – and the Warren County sophomore keeper thwarted two other Falcons’ shot attempts with saves midway through the second half.

“Our touch and our control is not there yet,” said Poor, whose team held a 13-6 shot advantage in the game and a 9-3 edge in the second half. “A lot of times we had plays where we could’ve busted through and then, a bad pass. That’ll come. But what we told them at halftime was just play the short ball, keep moving the ball around. Keep it outside, bring it back in and at the end we had numerous opportunities. A couple more should’ve been in the net but I’m not greedy, I’ll take the win.”

The Wildcats, who had mounted little offense during the first 20 minutes of the second half, generated several opportunities to even the score over the final eight minutes.

The Wildcats’ best look of the game came in the final three minutes, when Falcons keeper Dean Woodwell was ruled to have illegally touched a back pass in the box – though Poor said the ball appeared to have been deflected to Woodwell off a teammate’s knee and not his foot – which gave Warren County an indirect free kick in the box from 15 yards out.

Wildcats senior Taylor Corwin scorched a shot that managed to get through a mass of players in the middle of the box, but Falcons senior defender Eric Ventura knocked the shot down with his chest from his position on the left post next to Woodwell.

Warren County fired another shot from inside the box off the deflection after a scramble for the ball, but Woodwell snagged it for his only save.

“Definitely scared,” Ventura said of Warren County’s final push. “I definitely saw a goal going in. I never play on the post, so I guess I was pretty lucky to be there today.”

Poor said the Falcons felt they were in “total control” of the match the entire night, as they were able to maintain a clear advantage in time of possession.

Thursday’s loss marked the second straight match Warren County has been held scoreless this season, although coach Manual Alban was encouraged by what he saw from the Wildcats over the final 20 minutes.

“We’re lacking the build up in play,” Alban said. “We’re still searching for the midfield organization where somebody can put the ball down, change the pace of the game, distribute the ball and give our forwards a chance to move in different directions and get them free, through balls and stuff. We don’t have that yet.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com