Warriors boot Bulldogs 4-2

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Second-half goals by Matt Schutz and Alexander Palagyi propelled Nansemond River to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night at King’s Fork in the Southeastern District opener for each boys soccer team.

In what was also the first cross-city soccer match of the season, the Warriors handed the Bulldogs their first setback of the season.

Both teams played wide-open, attacking soccer in a hectic pace, even with a frigid wind chill. The Warriors (3-4, 1-0) capitalized on more of their chances to take an early 2-0 lead and keep the Bulldogs (6-1, 0-1) at bay in the final minutes.

The Warriors took advantage of their first attack of the evening and grabbed the lead in 36 seconds.

Jarrod Watson sent a through ball to the top of the KF box which Schutz raced onto and sent a bounding shot toward goal. Schutz’s shot hit squarely off the base of the right post of the goal and teammate Larry Chapman was first to the rebound to tap the ball into the open goal.

“Fire wagon” is traditionally a term for ice hockey, but it described the next few minutes after NR’s opening goal as the teams traded end-to-end action and close scoring chances.

KF relied largely on the forward twins Terricus and Terence Alexander. The diminutive juniors gave the Warrior defense headaches with their speed and the Alexanders were unlucky not to put KF ahead during the first half.

Terricus, KF’s leading scorer through its first six victories, had a number of breaks into the NR box in the opening half and hit one crossbar and one post, but no goals.

Instead, in the 28th minute, the Warriors went up 2-0 on a goal by Watson. Alex Anglin sent a cross in from near the left endline to the top of the KF penalty box. Watson and Derek Turner fought for the ball against two Bulldog defenders. Turner settled the ball and Watson had enough space for a strike into the right side of the KF goal.

The Bulldog forwards continued getting chances and less than four minutes after Watson’s goal, Terence Alexander got KF back into the match.

A corner kick for KF bounced in and around the Warrior box as NR couldn’t clear the danger. Finally, the ball found Terricus Alexander and he passed across the top of the box to his right and Terence, who sent a low, hard shot through traffic and just inside the left post.

The Warriors caught the Bulldogs in the opening minute of a half again following the half.

NR gained a throw-in deep in the KF half and sweeper Sean Duffy came up for a long throw. Duffy’s throw from the left sideline found Schutz’s head. Schutz’s basically added a bit more momentum to Duffy’s toss and sent it into the goal.

Down two goals again, the Bulldogs responded with more attacking. Again, it was Terence Alexander from an assist by his brother as the two KF forwards struck.

Terricus used his quickness to keep possession down the right flank, and then send from the right endline across the face of the NR goal. Terence knew right where to be and sent a one-timed right-footed shot curling into the goal away from NR keeper Daryl Washington. With 27 minutes to go, the result was still up for grabs.

The decisive play came as the clock ticked under nine minutes to go.

Nansemond River was awarded a penalty kick. A Warrior cross into the KF box found one Warrior player for a header, and on a second NR header attempt a few yards from goal, a push in the back was called against a Bulldog.

Palagyi sent the penalty kick to the left of a diving effort by KF keeper Curtis Poole.

The Bulldogs host Great Bridge on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Warriors face their other Suffolk rival on Thursday, hosting Lakeland at 7 p.m.