Fitch boys soccer benefits from Boardman own goal


By BOB ETTINGER

sports@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

A boost in confidence can come from just about anywhere, whether it be one good play leading to another or the gods simply bestowing a gift. The Austintown-Fitch boys soccer team gratefully took a gift then struck with two more plays to overcome a slow start in dropping Boardman, 3-2, at Falcon Stadium Thursday night.

“I think it was a confidence thing,” Fitch coach Tim Walsh said. “In their heads, they were thinking, ‘OK, we got the first one.’ You could see everyone’s confidence pick up. I think we had the advantage from that point until the end.”

The Falcons (3-1, 2-1 in All-American Conference Red Tier) trailed, 1-0, when a Boardman defender tried clearing the ball to the sideline but it ricocheted off a teammate before rolling past the goalkeeper and rolled nearly 40 yards. A Boardman defender was a split second late and the ball crossed the goal line to tie the game at 1-1 in the 18th minute of the first half.

“I didn’t even really like talking about it,” Boardman coach Eric Simione said. “At halftime, I like talking about soccer, not Three Stooges movies. Then we gave up two more right after that. Our two schools have been playing each other a long time and this is probably the best game I’ve seen us lose.”

Cammron Sobien took a crossing pass from Blake Baker and sent it into the net for a 2-1 Fitch lead with 13:33 to play in the half. Julio Gonzalez did the same with a cross from Dom Foley just 1:13 later to put the Falcons up, 3-1, which was the advantage they held at the intermission.

“Goals come in pairs,” Walsh said. “If you score one, the chance for another is there. We tell the guys when they get a goal that it’s time to strike again. That was not giving up on plays and being in the right spots. We were fundamentally sound.”

The Spartans (2-3, 0-2) struck first as Tommy Fryda took a shot from 40 yards out and it rolled through traffic and past the goalkeeper. They added another as Ryan Johnston deposited a rebound into the net to cut Boardman’s deficit to 3-2 in the 26th minute of the second half.”

“We tried to move our formation in the second half,” Simione said. “We were trying to get a spark. We weren’t able to get control after we moved (Alexander Wood) up top. We saw that after a few minutes. We tried it and it didn’t work. Once he went back to the midfield, we were able to create more.”

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