The scoring opportunities have been few and far between for the Madison boys soccer team this season. A 1-0 loss to Thomas Jefferson at home on Monday night forced the Warhawks to judge themselves in other ways than goals and wins.
“As has been happening with us, we played a solid game, but we don’t have that finishing touch that we are looking for, not able to take advantage of the one or two opportunities we get a game, just haven’t had that scoring finish,” said Madison head coach Ryan Douds.
Madison (0-6-1, 0-2 Liberty) has only netted three goals in its first seven games, putting pressure on its defense and taking control away from the offense.
The Colonials (5-1, 1-0) controlled much of the early action in the first half, keeping Madison pinned down in their own half of the field and forcing junior goalkeeper Alistair Brice to make early saves to keep the Warhawks in the game.
Two offsides calls against Jefferson in the first 20 minutes of play kept the game scoreless and Madison did not get a shot off until midway through the first half, a long, hopeful ball off the foot of junior midfielder Wilfredo Perla-Aguilar that hit Jefferson senior goalkeeper Ariel Brown in the chest.
The Colonials kept the pressure on for most of the first half but were unable to capitalize on their created opportunities, leaving the game in a scoreless tie at halftime.
“I told the boys at halftime we have to win, we have to find a way to win. Looking pretty doesn’t matter, we have to win. If we want a chance to compete for everything in the long run we have to win games like this,” said Jefferson head coach Sean Burke.
Madison came out more organized in the second half, giving Jefferson back some of the pressure that had been almost exclusively in the Colonials’ favor.
“We tried to work on controlling the ball. They tend to lose their composure a little in the midfield and once they learn to take a deep breath and control the ball instead of just clearing the ball they do a better job of controlling the midfield and moving forward together as a team,” said Douds.
<b>IT WAS JEFFERSON</b> that finally cashed in on a scoring chance, however, as junior forward Evan Burch scorched a shot from the left corner of the goal box to the top left of the goal. Brice was left with little opportunity to keep the ball from finding the net with just over 23 minutes left in the game.
It was all the scoring that the Colonials would need.
“We played well, [but] we didn’t put any goals in so unfortunately we lost but we played good, better than we had been earlier in the season. It could’ve gone either way but it went against us this time,” said junior midfielder Henry Bronez.
Bronez, the Warhawks emerging leader, has just five games left in the regular season to help Madison take more advantage of their opportunities to find the net, and maybe a couple of wins.