OakTree defeates shorthanded Crusaders

Published 11:35 pm Friday, September 23, 2011

First Baptist’s Marquis Lassiter tries to dribble past an OakTree player during Thursday’s soccer match at Suffolk Youth Athletic Association. OakTree won the Seven Cities Athletic Conference game 4-0.

First Baptist’s soccer team was playing hard at the end of 80 minutes of its conference match against OakTree Academy Thursday at Suffolk Youth Athletic Association, which was a feat unto itself.

With a small roster to start the season anyway, injuries and illnesses cost the Crusaders three players for their two matches this week. The Crusaders had 13 players available in a 3-1 loss on Tuesday against Virginia Beach Friends.

By turning the squad into a co-ed team thanks to recruiting Anna Carr and Danielle Stauffer for Thursday’s game, head coach George Martin at least had two more subs to work with.

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OakTree scored three goals in the last 30 minutes of the match to earn a 4-0 win over the Crusaders.

On Tuesday, the Crusaders scored the first goal and led much of the way before fatigue was too much to overcome.

“We’re playing well, but after awhile, going up against teams with 17 or 18 players, they can just wear us down,” Martin said.

Carr and Stauffer were ready and willing to take the pitch on Tuesday but Lady Crusader volleyball, with Carr and Stauffer on that team, was played at the same time.

The Crusaders (0-4) had their chances to get on the board and keep the soccer match close against the Grizzlies for about 60 minutes of the contest.

OakTree took a 1-0 lead about 12 minutes in and outshot the Crusaders 12-4 in the first half.

The Crusaders needed the last-ditch defensive effort from backs Clint Byrd and Mike Harville. Goalie Nathan Van Dorn finished with eight saves. Early in the game, while still with fresh legs, Marquis Lassiter, Wayne Conner and Zach Pauley created good plays in the OakTree half of the field.

A couple minutes after the Grizzly goal, the Crusaders turned a corner kick into a couple close chances right in front of the OakTree net. A scramble of feet from the both squads wound up with the OakTree keeper picking the ball up just off his goal line.

Lassiter and Pauley sprinted down long clearances by Crusader defenders, turning the play into a break in on goal. Neither shot had the power to get by the keeper though.

Dark skies during the whole match finally let loose with rain showers during halftime and for part of the second half.

OakTree doubled its lead 10 minutes into the second half. A shot bounced off the right post of the Crusader goal before the rebound left an easy, open shot just a couple steps from the goal.

The Crusaders got a penalty kick, from a Grizzly handball in their own penalty box, a few minutes later. Pauley’s kick was driven toward the upper, middle section of the goal until the Grizzly keeper saved it was a push over the crossbar.

The ensuing Crusader corner kick worked to OakTree’s favor. OakTree’s big clearance boot turned into a rush toward the Crusader box and the third OakTree goal moments after it was almost a 2-1 score.

When First Baptist’s postgame huddle broke up, both Lady Crusaders took off to First Baptist’s gym. The energy used up on the soccer field didn’t hurt the Lady Crusaders versus OakTree on the volleyball court as First Baptist won their in four sets a little later in the evening.

First Baptist soccer and volleyball, another potential doubleheader for Stauffer and Carr, took on Chesapeake Bay Friday afternoon.