Bennett, Lopez lead Falcons past dragons

WOODSTOCK — Central lost three times to William Monroe last season, all by one goal. On Thursday night, the Falcons tasted some redemption.

The Falcons scored two goals in a span of two minutes in the second half to pull out a 2-0 victory over the Dragons in Bull Run District boys soccer action.

“It feels perfect, considering the fact that everybody has been saying how strong of a team we are,” Central senior Elmer Lopez said. “And it is true – we are a strong team – and you saw it here tonight.”

The game was scoreless for 63 minutes with Central having some opportunities that it couldn’t quite convert on. In the first half, Central was going into the wind and still managed to hold the Dragons to only shot attempt.

“We said we got to hold them, don’t let them score (in the first half) and we did that,” Central coach Ted Poor said. “We knew in the second half, because we were putting enough pressure on them going into the wind, I knew with the wind we would probably break through.”

The Falcons (3-0) finally scored with 16 minutes left in the game. Central junior J.P. Bennett scored on an assist from Korey Wolford.

“I saw Korey, he made the run down the side, and I saw the middle lane was wide open. So I just ran right through the lane, and he made a great pass right to me,” Bennett said. “It was really exciting. Everybody was really hyped up. I was full of energy.”

Just two minutes later, Lopez scored a goal off an assist from teammate Ivan Alvarado.

Lopez said he didn’t see the pass first and had to react quickly.

“All I remember was a cross coming by, and I chested it and I scissor-kicked it into the goal,” Lopez said.

The Falcons showed they have versatility on offense, but the win also highlighted a strong defense.

The Falcons held the Dragons to only two shots the whole game.

“I said it before this may be my best defense,” Poor said. “They’re fast. They communicate well, and having the experience that we have back there — three of the boys played there last year.”

Poor said Central senior Josh Orndorff has been a real plus for the team on defense. Orndorff missed last year with an injury.

Even when the Falcons were struggling to score, the players said they stayed positive knowing they would eventually score. The Falcons had 15 shots in the game.

“It’s very frustrating when we have that many shots, and we don’t score as many,” Lopez said. “We need to practice on finishing, but it’s nothing to be ashamed at. Every team misses shots.”

The Falcons are now 3-0, and the players said that the play of their bench has been helpful to their success.

“Our team is pretty deep. The players coming off the bench they do just like the starters do,” Lopez said. “Honestly, there are not even starters on this team – we play as one team, no matter who comes off the bench.”

Poor said he was giving his players a four-day weekend, not having another practice until Tuesday, and that they earned it.

He said he was very proud of how they played in a big game.

“They knew it was an important game,” Poor said. “We just did not get a lot of good breaks last year. So they’re kind of determined this year to carry it through. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com