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BOYS SOCCER: Martinsville downs PC in district tourney
Martinsville’s Brandon Minter (center) knocks a header over Patrick County’s Andrew Betancourt on Monday during Martinsville’s 3-0 win during the Piedmont District Tournament action at Dan Greene Memorial stadium in Martinsville. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
By CHRIS PRIDE - Bulletin Sports Writer
Martinsville junior boys soccer player Bryce Worley made sure not to make the same mistake twice Monday.
After failing to capitalize on a pair of chances during a loss to Halifax County on Friday, Worley made good on his chance at redemption Monday during the opening round of the Piedmont District tournament.
Worley scored in the ninth minute in helping lead the Bulldogs to a 3-0 win over Patrick County at Dan Greene Memorial Stadium.
“It gives you a lot of confidence for the rest of the game and boosts up your team,” Worley said of the early goal. “Coach said I had to capitalize on those opportunities and make them count.”
Sophomore Kyle Hathaway netted Martinsville’s second goal in the 44th minute on the team’s first shot of the second half. Senior Tommy O’Neil provided the assist on Hathaway’s goal on a nearly identical play to one Friday, when the sophomore missed a second-half chance. Martinsville added a third goal in the 75th minute when junior Alex Martinez’s cross from the left side was accidentally knocked in by Patrick County (1-13-1) defender Clay Flippin for an own goal.
Martinsville’s midfield and forwards exploited the flanks and kept constant pressure on the PCHS (1-13-1) defense for most of the match. Bulldogs head coach Pete Scouras said he was pleased with how his team used its wing play Monday.
“We have to start becoming more consistent in that final third (of the field) and with our width it opens things up,” Scouras said. “Dardan (Bela) and Alex each had a heck of game.”
Martinsville put 12 of its 18 shots on goal and had six of its seven shots in the first half directed on frame. Of those 18 shots, 12 came from inside the penalty box.
Worley’s goal was the product of a pass by Martinez that was lofted over top of the defense from along the left sideline at around midfield. Worley, making a run up the middle, controlled the ball in the air and was able to slide the shot to the right corner for an early 1-0 lead.
“It was a perfect pass right, on the money. I got a lucky bounce trying to settle the ball, put my foot on and it went in.”
Hathaway’s goal in the opening minutes helped put the Bulldogs comfortably in front. O’Neil was able to beat a defender deep inside the right side of the box and sent a perfect pass back to the penalty marker. Hathaway ran onto the pass and buried the shot with one touch.
O’Neil almost had a goal later in the 69th minute on a volley attempt that just cleared the crossbar on a pass over the top by senior Andrew Mize on a free kick from midfield.
“The finishing touch in the final third was a whole lot better, and that’s how it has to be from this point on,” Scouras said. “We challenged the guys to do better at what they haven’t been doing well at.
The Martinsville defense did not concede a corner kick in the match and allowed just three shots as Cody Martin made three saves to earn the clean sheet. Christian Ruscelloni made nine saves in the loss for the Cougars.
It was the third win for MHS over the Cougars this season, by a total margin of 10-0.
Martinsville (11-5-1) will play Magna Vista today in the tournament semifinals following the G.W.-Danville-Franklin County match in the other semifinal. Admission for today’s semifinals at Martinsville High School is $7.