Boys soccer team remains unbeaten at home
We've all heard the expression, "home sweet home," and home has really been sweet for the Berkeley Springs High School boys soccer team. In fact, they haven't been beaten at home this year and the streak continued last week with a 2-1 win over McConnellsburg and a 3-3 tie with St. Maria Goretti. In between the home matches, Berkeley Springs played at Martinsburg, falling to the Dogs 3-0.
The week started on Tuesday, September 18, with St. Maria Goretti visiting Morgan Field. Goretti had beaten the Indians 4-2 in an earlier match-up, but you wouldn't have guessed that early on, as the Tribe bolted out to a 3-1 lead.
It was Goretti that struck first for a 1-0 lead, but goals by Josh Wise, Gudiel Guzman and Matt Martin gave the Indians a two-goal lead.
Unfortunately, Berkeley Springs was unable to hold the lead as, once more, the injury bug reared its ugly head. Wise had a hamstring tighten and missed some action, Paul Truitt took a shot in the back and was unable to return and twin brothers Ben and Brendan Debelius, who recently transferred to Berkeley Springs, suffered some cramping and missed time too.
"Injuries continue to be a factor in our games," said Berkeley Springs coach Jamie Chenoweth. "We had a comfortable lead and had only to hold them, but the Gaels weren't about to concede. At one point we had four starters out of the game at the same time and Goretti came back and tied the game. I was really pleased with the play of our defenders Cody Riffle and John Gordon. They were solid, and have been, shutting down through balls and containing the wings. Paul Truitt moved back to sweeper and has really shown his ability there making some incredible tackles. The Debelius twins played their first game and we're still trying to figure out where they will help us the most. But their strength and speed has given the team some options since losing Ian Whibley, Ben Earl and Devin Walsh from the starting lineup due to injury."
Wise and Riffle picked up one assist each, while Dustin Triplett stopped eight shots in goal.
Berkeley Springs then traveled to Martinsburg and gave the Bulldogs, one of the top teams in the area, a real test before falling 3-0, on Thursday, September 20. The Indians hung tough and trailed just 1-0 at the intermission and were still very much in the contest until the final 20 minutes of play.
Triplett had nine saves for the Tribe.
"We were ready to win on Thursday," Cheoweth said. "For the first three-quarters of the game we were evenly matched against one of the best teams in the state. But we adjusted our formation in the final quarter to even the score up, but instead it created an opening in our midfield and they took advantage of it."
On Saturday, September 22, Berkeley Springs defeated McConnellsburg 2-1 in a hard-fought home contest.
Due to goals by Josh Wise and Matt Martin, the Indians built a 2-0 halftime lead and then hung on for the 2-1 victory.
Martin scored the first goal on a pretty assist from Josh Wise. Wise then scored a goal of his own when younger brother Jake sent a long pass behind the defenders that Josh shot past McConnellsburg's goal keeper.
Despite the close score, Berkeley Springs dominated the action outshooting their Pennsylvania rival 15-5.
"Our defense was good, but I think we could have played better in the midfield," Chenoweth said. "We won the game, but once again we were on our heels at the end trying to keep a lead. In general we have made it through the tough part of our schedule and should have the majority of our wins in the second half of the year. We're still shuffling the lineup, but things look good for us. We have two players among the top 10 area scorers (Matt Martin #1) and eight players in the top 40. Our goal keeper Dustin Triplett has been awesome to watch and hopefully we'll get Ian (Whibley) back soon."
Berkeley Springs, 5-5-1, will play at Mercersburg Academy today, September 26 and at St. James Academy on Saturday, September 29.