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Opposites detract

Sliding Gaels show up to repel streaking Bulldogs

Sliding Gaels show up to repel streaking Bulldogs

October 13, 2009|By DAN KAUFFMAN

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    Martinsburg's boys soccer team entered Tuesday's contest at Apple Valley League opponent St. Maria Goretti riding a seven-game winning streak. The Gaels were on a five-game winless streak of their own.

    Naturally, Goretti prevailed.

    Korean foreign exchange student Daihyun Kwon found Vince Turano for a pair of goals, and Mateo Pejla added another as the Gaels snapped a scoreless tie with three goals in a 19-minute span of the second half to stun the Bulldogs, 3-1.

    "That was a big win," Goretti coach Michael Long said. "Everybody was on point today. With high school kids, it's hard to tell who's going to show up, but everybody came to play today."

    Martinsburg (11-7) had four corner kicks in the first five minutes of the match, and two bounced around dangerously in the penalty box before being cleared away by the Gaels (4-10-2).

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"It's always important to be able to weather what a bigger, stronger team throws at you early," Long said. "They started aggressively and came at us, but once we weathered the first five minutes, most of our boys played their best matches."

The rest of the first half played out pretty evenly -- the Bulldogs had a couple more shots, but neither team had a real good look at the goal.

Martinsburg had a good chance four minutes into the second half when Evan Bobo fed Tim Sabol up the right side. Sabol got deep into the penalty box, but his shot was stopped by Goretti keeper John Winalski and the rebound was booted wide right.

Two minutes later, Kwon and Turano teamed up for their first of two scores. Kwon fed a through ball into Turano, who made no mistake for a 1-0 lead.

In the 49th minute, Martinsburg's Adam Mauck found Christian Rudy in front of the goal for a golden opportunity, but Rudy's shot sailed high.

Then in the 61st minute, Kwon and Turano was at it again. Kwon made a run up the right side, and just before the goal line he rolled a pass across the middle to Turano for a point-blank shot and score.

"Today is the first game we've gotten to play together, but in practice we've worked well together," Turano said. "He gave me two great passes and I got a good shot off on both of them. ... I've only had two goals all year, so scoring two in this game is pretty big."

In the 64th minute, Pejla took a short corner kick and blasted a shot from the right side into the top left corner to give the Gaels a 3-0 lead.

Drew Dopson got the Bulldogs on the board two minutes later with a sharp-angle shot from the left side, but Martinsburg could not put another in the net.

"I was just hoping we could hold on. They're so explosive, and we've had leads before and couldn't finish the match," Long said. "But the boys stayed organized."

Goretti played without senior captain Aaron Wilkinson, who is on a missions trip. Senior sweeper Alex Bolinger took over captain's duties and was all over the field, and the Gaels outhustled the Bulldogs to win the majority of the 50/50 balls.

"Alex took over the leadership and helped push us through," Long said. "We're hoping this is a good sign we're getting strong at the end of the season with the (Private Independent Schools) state tournament coming up."

The Gaels are the defending state champions.

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