Crusaders go cold at StoneBridge

Published 7:45 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

With five goals in a 25-minute span of the match, StoneBridge comfortably defeated First Baptist’s boys soccer team on Monday afternoon 5-0

StoneBridge kept the field tilted toward the Crusader penalty box for most of the contest, the last 60 minutes of which was played in a moderate, but chilly rain.

Playing an opponent that controls most of the possession is nothing new for First Baptist (5-4-1) even in its victories. The Crusaders thrive on quick counterattacks and simply outscoring opponents in high-scoring matches. For example, First Baptist has recorded winning scores this season of 8-7, 6-3 and 7-1 and a loss of 9-8.

As the season’s gone along though, another problem has come up for the Crusaders, and that’s having enough Crusaders. Head coach George Martin counts six players who were missing from Monday’s match, most of whom are gone for the season, another four matches, about two weeks. The Crusaders had 13 players on the squad at StoneBridge, making stamina and cards major concerns.

“They’re not giving up. We talked about it before we even came over here. We didn’t give up. We just didn’t take advantage of anything today,” said Martin.

The match was scoreless for the first 26 minutes. StoneBridge had most of the possession and pelted long-range shots against Crusader keeper Luke Ognibene, who had been a field player for First Baptist earlier in the season.

Forwards Russell Ballance and D.J. Daniels, center midfielder Pete Twisdale and left midfielder Paryn Grodi created a few dangerous rushes forward early on, but it only amounted to three shots on goal in the first half.

StoneBridge scored three times in the last 13 minutes of the first half and two more times in the first 12 minutes after halftime.

The Cavaliers finished with a 22-6 advantage in shots on goal. Ognibene made 12 saves. Twisdale moved to goalie late in the second half after Ognibene was yellow carded for a late tackle in the penalty box. Twisdale saved the ensuing penalty kick and stopped four more Cavalier shots in the final few minutes.

First Baptist has its Senior Day match on Tuesday against OakTree at 4:30 p.m. The Crusaders have one more regular season match, then will be hosting a four-school tournament to finish the season. First Baptist will host Chesapeake Bay, OakTree and Summit next Thursday and Friday at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Twisdale, Daniels and Aaron Cockrell make up the first senior class in Crusader soccer history.