Bulldogs upset NRHS in sudden death for title
Published 2:11 pm Saturday, May 31, 2014
The boys’ soccer teams of King’s Fork High School and Nansemond River High School engaged in a grand battle Friday night that went into four overtimes before it produced an Ironclad Conference tournament champion.
The No. 3 Bulldogs and No. 1 Warriors were locked in a 1-1 tie through more than 95 minutes of play when King’s Fork sophomore Drequan Wilson beat a defender near midfield in sudden death overtime and took off.
The Warriors’ keeper advanced from the goal to defend, but Wilson dribbled around him and the momentum of the ball caused it to roll in for a 2-1 victory at Christopher Newport University.
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“I don’t know what to say,” Bulldogs head coach Michel Bilé said. “I think the players came together, especially during the tournament, and really pushed themselves.”
The first appearance by either school’s boys’ soccer programs in a conference or district final resulted in a game that conjured a wide range of emotions.
Nansemond River head coach Dustin Tordoff said, “I think the best way to sum it up is it was a wonderful show to watch as a spectator, it was an extremely stressful thing to watch as a coach,” and for the players, “It was one of those commercials where it was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
Of King’s Fork, Tordoff said, “They played very inspired and just flat-out hustle soccer. They meant business.”
With the teams’ previous meeting this season, when the Warriors won 2-0, in mind, the Bulldogs crafted a different strategy and lineups for Friday.
Bilé’s plan for the game was to limit dribbling in the midfield and simply pass over the top to the forwards, giving them the chance to use their speed to beat defenders.
About 15 minutes into the game, King’s Fork senior Oludare Olugbemi scored. Just before the half, Nansemond River sophomore Brayan Morales knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal. Consequently, Bilé changed his lineup at halftime.
Meanwhile, the Warriors came close to scoring several times during the contest. The ball smacked the goal posts a few times, and two goals were called back due to a player being off-sides. Most notably, the Warriors were thwarted on a penalty kick when Bulldogs junior goalkeeper Jeremy Woods made what Tordoff admitted was an unbelievable save.
Bilé praised Woods and the second half defenders, freshmen Jean-Luc Ahouan, Garrett Fuller, sophomore Kenwood Harris and junior Hugh Long.
Tordoff cited many Warriors standouts who made it a well-played game, including Morales, seniors Gabe Everette, Chad Kozoyed and sophomores Daniel Brickhouse, Yousef Al-Sarraf and Axel Lopez.
Both schools compete at the regional level for the first time on Monday, as King’s Fork (7-10-1) hosts Deep Creek High School and Nansemond River (11-5) visits Woodrow Wilson High School.