Eastern boys fall short in tight battle against North Adams –
By Wade Linville –
Southern Hills Athletic Conference play kicked off for the Eastern Warriors on Aug. 23, as they hosted the North Adams Green Devils.
In a tight battle for an early season win, it was the Green Devils coming away with a narrow 2-0 victory.
While the Warriors never could find their rhythm on the offensive end, their defense stood solid against the talented North Adams soccer squad, backed by an exceptional performance from their junior goalkeeper Mike Schmid.
Schmid remained busy throughout the evening, grabbing save after save to keep the Warriors within striking distance.
A save by Schmid just over six minutes into the game would hold North Adams scoreless early on, but with the clock closing in on the 25 minute mark in the first half it was the Devils firing for their first goal to take a 1-0 lead.
A shot by Eastern’s Andres Vargas failed to find its way past the hands of the North Adams goalkeeper with five minutes to go in the first half.
With 2:53 remaining in the first half, the Devils scored again to take a 2-0 lead.
A shot by Eastern senior Josh Tolle with 47 seconds to go in the first half was saved by the North Adams goalie, and it was the Warriors trailing by two going into halftime break.
The Warrior defense held the Devils scoreless for the entire second half, but never could overcome the two-point deficit after giving up two goals in the first half of play.
A shot by Eastern freshman Ryan Boone landed in the hands of the Devils’ goalie with 26 minutes to go in the second half. On the other end of the field, it was Schmid coming up with more impressive saves to prevent another North Adams goal.
The Warriors battled until the final second had dwindled off the clock, but it was the two North Adams goals in the first half that would lead to their first loss of the season in SHAC play.
On a positive note for the Warriors, the Green Devils are a strong crew that will cause problems for other teams they face in SHAC play this season, and the Eastern boys proved in Wednesday’s match that, with some improvements and additional varsity experience from some young players on the offensive end, they could top any team in the conference and make an excellent run come post-season tournament time.
There are six seniors on the field for the Warriors this season – Dare Minton, Dyllan Schneider, Spencer West, Dakota Hiser, Josh Tolle, and Justin Cowdrey.
Juniors on this year’s Eastern varsity boys soccer squad include Caleb Mullins, Noah Vargas, Jon Chesley, and Mike Schmid.
This year’s Warriors are equipped with three sophomores – Brett McCoy, Wyatt Makstaller, and Trey Bogart.
Rounding out the Eastern High School boys soccer roster are freshmen Andres Vargas, Ryan Boone, Nathan Schneider, and Kaleb Parks.
Back as the Warriors’ head coach is JP Gauche, who is assisted by Wayne Diener.
The Warriors were scheduled to be back in action Aug. 24 at Williamsburg High School for a non-league match, and on Aug. 26 they were scheduled to take on Southeastern in a non-league road game.
The Warriors return to their home field Wednesday, Aug. 30 for a SHAC contest against the Lycnhburg-Clay Mustangs.