Central edges Rams

WOODSTOCK — Like any sport, high school boys soccer can be fickle.

Consider Tuesday when Shenandoah County arch-rivals Strasburg and Central met on the pitch.

The Falcons doubled the opposition’s shots on goal (10-5) and, yet, there was Strasburg’s Cody Brill streaking down the left side of the field with only Central goalie Dean Woodwell and a lot of wet grass in between his foot and its target. In the 78th of an 80-minute match, Brill’s kick went just high of the crossbar and the Falcons pulled out a 2-1 Bull Run District showdown.

“We played kind of sloppy and we had balls that hit the crossbar and the post,” Central coach Ted Poor said. “Then they have that breakaway and I thought the kid had a good chance to score it, but didn’t. It’s a win and we’ll take it.”

Strasburg coach Joel Ross sat with Brill, a sophomore forward, for a time on the bench afterward, and encouraged him. Brill had made an excellent move to gain possession of the ball near midfield and then was a blur as he outraced the Falcon defenders toward their goal. In his defense, they were closing on him and his shot attempt went high.

It was only the fifth shot on goal for the Rams all night. Meanwhile, the Falcons seemed dominant on the offensive end.

Falcons junior forward Tyler Bosserman said his team liked to attack on the wings rather than the traditional middle. The junior forward scored the first goal inside the four-minute mark of the second half after the teams had battled to a scoreless tie in the first 40 minutes.

Poor’s team has speed on the flanks, including junior midfielder Elmer Lopez, who tallied Central’s second (and game-winning goal) about 4½ minutes after Bosserman’s effort.

In the first half, just Kyle Tiemeyer had an attempt for Strasburg; meanwhile Truban, Alvarado, Bosserman and team captain Eri Dominguez peppered shots at Strasburg goalie Damian Wolford.

The barrage continued into the second half. Bosserman, fading to his right, put the ball in the upper left hand corner of the goal, as Wolford sold out to stop the shot. Then, in the ninth minute of the second frame, Lopez streaked down the left sideline, halted and planted the ball on the left side of the goal.

“The truth is, Central’s a good team,” Ross said. “If you look at it, they’ve gotten better every year Coach Poor has been there. They were better than us tonight, but we’re trying to get where they are. This year, at least, we had good enough depth to deal with an injured player. Next year, we should have a program that can contest like this all the time.”

Ross lost senior defenseman Kristian Stroem in the ninth minute with a knee injury. Stroem received trainer’s care the remainder of the night but failed to return.

“I think we’re at the point right now where we can deal with that,” Ross said.

The Falcons attempted three more goal attempts after Bosserman and Lopez’s shots clipped the net.

Strasburg’s (2-3-1 district, 2-3-1 overall) goal came in the 30th minute of play. Junior Daniel Jarrell booted the ball just above Woodwell and it tucked in under the goal bar. The score was 2-1, then with 1:45 showing came Brill’s attempt.

The victory was the third in a row for Central (4-2, 4-2), which enjoyed the third of a three-game home stand. The Falcons have allowed more than one goal scored on them just once this season, at George Mason in a 2-1 defeat on March 25. Otherwise, their defense has been sticky.

“We’ve got a freshman goalkeeper [Woodwell] and he is doing a great job,” Poor said.

Woodwell stopped three shots on goal for the Falcons. His counterpart, Wolford, enjoyed the same number of stops.