Charger booters begin tournament play Monday
|Charger Trey Johnson (#16) heads the ball in a 4-2 loss at Mathews on Monday. (Photo by Tom Chillemi)|
The Middlesex High varsity soccer team played its toughest Tidewater District match on Monday in a 6-2 loss at Mathews in the final game of the regular season.
The Chargers finished 2-4 in district play.
Middlesex answered an early Mathews goal when Carlos Gonzalez placed a direct kick over the reach of the Mathews goalie and into the corner of the net.
Luciano Catanzaro’s score for the Chargers knotted the match at 2-2 midway through the first half. Mathews led 4-2.
Erick Sosa, Mark Mall and Stanley Redmon played excellent defense supporting Tommy Norman in goal, said Middlesex coach Scott Rae.
Rae said he’s looking for a good showing in the Tidewater District Tournament, which begins on Monday, May 18, at West Point, and concludes on Wednesday, May 20.
In other action, visiting West Point avenged an earlier loss last Friday by defeating Middlesex 2-0.
The MHS soccer program recognized their senior players prior to Friday night’s game. They were Chris Brooks, Mark Hall, Trey Johnson, Sierra Jordan and Ean Reed. Absent seniors included Luciano Catanzaro, Clayton Colley and Mario Kieselbach.
Underclassmen Chris Chamberlain, Dominique Barrett, Darian Fisher, and Stanley Redmon put forth a tremendous effort against the Pointers’ strong offense.
Although the Pointers nailed two goals eight minutes into the game, the Charger defense held them scoreless for the remaining 72 minutes. Lauren Beebe, Sosa, Cydney Fisher and Carlos Gonzalez contributed in many defensive situations, interrupting the Pointer runs. “Our kids played awesome,” said Rae. “West Point was tired early on but our conditioning has made us competitive.”
Friday night’s effort is indicative of the force and presence coming next year, said Rae. Goalie Tommy Norman only allowed two goals in his varsity debut, stopping 15 solid Pointer shots.
The Chargers’ seed in Tidewater District Tournament will be determined following the Mathews-West Point game at Mathews on Friday.
“Our Middlesex team is the strongest we have been in roughly nine years and we’re looking to build that momentum with some upcoming JV players next year,” said Rae.
On May 6, the Chargers hit the goal in the first 3 minutes of the game, but came away with a 4-2 loss to Mathews.
Owen Holt scored on a long shot from nearly 30 yards.
The Blue Devils answered back minutes later with a shot from the top of the penalty box. Two more Mathews goals from its strong offense were tough to defend.
The Blue Devils also scored on a penalty kick, taken directly on Charger goalie Schuyler Sibley, and closed the first half ahead 4-1.
Six minutes into the second half, Owen Holt slipped the ball through the goalie’s fingers for the final goal of the game.
“Our defense played well but Mathews’ offense and defense were fast, accurate and strong,” said Rae.
The Chargers have five days of uninterrupted practice prior to the district tournament, noted Rae.