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BHS kickers downed in Farm-town
Written by: Joel Priest
The Scorpions gave new meaning of ‘turf burn’ to their guests Tuesday.
And it didn’t refer to the on-field triple-digit temperatures already frying players’ feet.
Behind two quick strikes opening the second half against Bayfield, Farmington’s junior varsity soccer crew came away with a 3-2 win on Hutchison Stadium’s scorching new surface.
But those three minutes were about the only time FHS made matters look easy, catching their out-of-state opponents in somewhat of a post-halftime hesitation state.
Previously, Wolverine senior Eric Dieter had taken a through ball from Dutch exchange student Gerlach Wollersheim and clanged his first goal of 2007 off the far post, behind and to the right of Scorp sophomore keeper Tyler Hough. That leveled the score at 1-1 in the 31st minute.
But after the final nine minutes had expired in the half, and after the intermission had done likewise, a child led a sizzling FHS spree that caught Terry Spriggs’ men flat-footed.
Speedy eighth-grade forward Niko Lewis was able to make two angled runs into the middle, both times away from junior right fullback Ronnie Fowler. And with two well-timed passes, Lewis found himself one-v-one with substitute goalkeeper Jeff Bynum (senior Lucas Moyers played the first half before donning a field player’s shirt). Lewis broke the tie cleanly in the 47th, then forced the Bayfield junior to attempt a difficult sliding save in the 50th minute. The rebound was quickly buried out of a cluster of players, with Lewis right in the thick of the group.
Just like that, the Wolverines were dealt a 3-1 problem with only thirty minutes to solve it.
Cries of ‘Pick up your intensity!’ became audible once more out of the purple players’ mouths, as they had been in the first half when BHS rallied to steal the Scorps’ first advantage.
The urges would be answered.
Pushing the pace, but often dwelling on one side of the field for too long, Bayfield found life at the front, courtesy senior Axel Gerhardstein and sophomore Jamie Tinnin (Dieter had been temporarily moved to fill Fowler’s spot, hoping to freeze Lewis). And the Wolverines made their chances, but couldn’t make them count—something undoubtedly stressed by Spriggs in a post-match talk lasting close to an hour. The best opportunities again came off Dieter’s right boot.
After nearly missing an indirect kick from just outside the Farmington 18 (courtesy some illegal handling of the ball by Hough), Dieter would get another chance with time nearly a memory. Standing to take a penalty kick granted him in the 78th minute, Dieter went right again and converted the chance to pare FHS’ lead to 3-2, and rushed in to swipe the ball from Hough and back to midfield for the kickoff, wasting as few seconds as possible.
There were just too few of them remaining to begin a final rush, and BHS slipped to 1-1 overall in the young season, with last year’s unwanted theme of near-misses still hanging around—another topic Spriggs surely addressed in the heart-to-heart with his team.
The Wolverines were 3-8-4 overall in 2006, with three losses coming by just one goal. Three draws were played to 1-1 counts as well, sidetracking the what-could-have-been then.
Bayfield simply hope ‘then’ doesn’t carry over to the ‘now.’
STRONG START: Still, as BHS open 3A Southwestern League play today at Center (4 p.m.) and tomorrow at Wolverine Country Stadium against Crested Butte (11 a.m.), they can build on both the good seen in Farmington, as well as last Thursday’s season-opener against the 4A Montezuma-Cortez JV at Norman Johnson Memorial Field. With Moyers and Bynum again sharing duty between the sticks, Bayfield cruised past the Panthers 4-1.
Wollersheim, Tinnin, senior Josh Mead, and Gerhardstein all posted goals in the victory, and all coming in a furious second half blitz. Tinnin was credited with the match-winner.
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