Late goal gives Bulldogs 4-0 mark

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

King’s Fork’s boys soccer team let the few brave fans who braved the cold temperatures Wednesday night know its 1-0 victory over Heritage gave them a 4-0 record on the young season.

The Bulldogs put 21 shots on goal to zero by Heritage, yet a 70th minute penalty kick conversion by Ben McIntyre was the only difference on the scoreboard. Despite a nailbiting victory which could’ve just as easily been a 4-0 or 5-0 result for the Bulldogs, head coach Mark Parsons was quite satisfied with the outcome.

For starters, three of his usual starting 11 were out of action for Wednesday’s match. Secondly, his leading goal-scorer, junior Terricus Alexander, had a quiet match unlike KF’s first three wins this season in which Alexander has totaled five goals.

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Most importantly though, a fourth straight win to open the season, no matter the final score, shows his efforts at building up the Bulldog soccer program are paying off, and that sense will hopefully feed his team’s confidence as the Southeastern District portion of the schedule comes up. Last season, the Bulldogs had their best record in program history at 6-10.

“Our young players are now older players,” said Parsons. Twelve of the 17 Bulldogs on Parsons’ varsity team are juniors or seniors.

“It took a while for the guys to learn the formation and style I wanted them to play, but now the guys have grown up.”

Throughout Wednesday’s match, King’s Fork attacked the Heritage goal with a barrage of shots. Most came from long-range efforts from outside the Heritage penalty box and a number of corner kicks and free kicks went for naught.

As the second half moved on, it was becoming more and more likely Heritage was somehow going to hold on for a scoreless draw. One rush into the Heritage box gave the Bulldogs all the offense they needed to continue their perfect record.

Alexander chased down a long ball into the left side of the Heritage box and sent a shot skipping across the face of the goal. The shot missed the mark, but drew Heritage’s keeper out of position and a weak clearance attempt by the Hurricanes found KF’s Chris Fortner.

Fortner sent a right-footed shot on goal and a Hurricane defender had little choice but to handle the ball to keep it from crossing the goal line. It was a clear red card, ejection and penalty kick.

McIntyre sent the penalty kick into the upper-right corner of the net, giving KF a 1-0 lead with just over 10 minutes to go.

Now a man down, and after 70 minutes of having little success attacking into the Bulldog half of the field, Heritage managed nothing after the Bulldogs took the lead.

“The biggest improvement is the team’s attitude,” said Parsons, “the guys are really excited to be out here and just play their hearts out.

“We’re going to have to work a lot harder to be competitive in the Southeastern District…but it’s definitely good to see this turn around,” said Parsons.