Near Post Run
Sunday, April 24, 2005
  Zion 3, Page 1
Page suffered their first loss in class A/AA, falling 3-1 at Zion Christian in Mount Pleasant on Friday afternoon. Once again, the Patriots took an early lead, this time on senior Steven Matheny's half-volley off a cross rebounding from the goalkeeper, which Matheny cracked low for his seventh goal of the season. But the second half turned ugly for Page with a takedown in the penalty area; the PK was converted to knot the score at 1. Not long thereafter the Eagles took the lead on a run into the left side of goal, and tacked on an insurance goal off a rebound near the end to cap a lackluster Patriot performance. They'll need to step it up for two A/AA clashes this week - a district game with Fairview (a rematch of their Thompson Tournament game two weeks ago), followed by Franklin rival CPA.
 
  Mike Thompson Invitational: Tullahoma 9, Page 0
It was just ugly on Friday 4/15 as Page definitely paid the tax for a red card on Thursday and lost to host and tournament champions Tullahoma 9-0. Less said the better.
 
Saturday, April 23, 2005
  Mike Thompson Invitational: Independence 5, Page 2
The concept of the local derby (pronounced "darby," as is the town in England) - a match between teams in the same region or town - is common in soccer around the world. Here in the States, however, we don't see it all that often, except in school soccer. But how often do you get to see players who played on the same team now playing against each other, and the coach of one of the teams coached the other previously? We got that and more in the inaugural South Williamson Derby between Page and Independence, played as part of the Mike Thompson Invitational, although by agreement of all parties the game was played at Independence (meaning the teams didn't have to both travel all the way to Tullahoma when the schools are just a few minutes from each other).

The Patriots jumped out to a 1-0 lead within seconds as Joel Evrist simply outran the Eagles' defense and finished well for his ninth goal of the season. But then Independence rode its speed directly up the middle of the field with long balls over the top and had a 2-1 lead by halftime. Near the middle of the second half, however, the Independence keeper took down Josh McMurray in the area and Steven Matheny stepped up to take the penalty and even the score with goal six for the season. In true derby confusion, the keeper was allowed (against TSSAA rules) to stay on without the required take-off.

Still, derbies often turn on the ability to manage emotions, and this derby was no exception - a Page player ran into the Independence keeper solidly and was sent off for the infraction. This decision may have been harsh, but the referee was much closer to the play than I was, and had I judged that the player went in with intent, I'd have red-carded him too. Once the game was 10v11, Independence pressed its advantage both with more speed up the gut and also a definite strength heading from set pieces; three late goals made it 5-2 to Independence and ran Page's record to 4-3.

 
  Mike Thompson Invitational: Page 2, Fairview 1
The Patriots exacted some measure of revenge for last year's playoff knockout by Fairview with a 2-1 defeat of the Yellow Jackets on 4/12 in both teams' first game in Tullahoma's Mike Thompson Invitational. Josh McMurray tallied his second goal of the season off an Oskar Wierdak assist, and Steven Matheny scored his fifth on a penalty kick. At this point, Page (4-2) was undefeated against A/AA competition.
 
Monday, April 11, 2005
  Page 3, Davidson Academy 0
Senior Steven Matheny tallied a goal and an assist while goalkeeper Steve Brown turned in another stellar performance as the visiting Patriots dismantled Davidson Academy 3-0 on Saturday. Matheny's fourth goal of the season opened the scoring for Page off a 30-yard free kick from close to the left touchline after forward/defender Josh McMurray was brought down close to the 30-minute mark. The shot went through the keeper's hands as he apparently lost focus with attackers breaking toward the ball and Page went ahead, somewhat against the run of play; the Bears had speed down the flanks and a willingness to fill the middle at the top of the box. They had several shots go wide and when they didn't, Brown was there to make the stop (at least two at point-blank range). In the second half, the run of play began to shift Page's way and they were rewarded with another goal off a Matheny free kick. Matheny got help from a very smart dummy run by junior defender Glen Dodson which took much of the Bears' defense out of the play; the senior's ensuing kick between the spot and far post was hammered home by a diving header from Oskar Wierdak (2 goals on the season). Less than five minutes later senior Joel Evrist continued his blistering scoring pace with his eighth goal of the campaign after a solid run and cross by freshman Blake Byerly got by the DA goalkeeper and fell to Everest in full stride to round the keeper and close the scoring, sending the Patriots to 3-2 (3-0 in A/AA contests). This week the Patriots will play up in class with AAA schools for three games at the Mike Thompson Invitational in Tullahoma, beginning with Murfreesboro Oakland on Tuesday.
 
Monday, April 04, 2005
  BGA 1, Page 0
Arno Road was the site of a superb soccer match Monday evening as highly-ranked Division II power BGA came calling. The Wildcats had a number of chances, but keeper Steve Brown (who played superbly) and the embattled Page defense held until the final ten minutes and a rebound fell squarely to a BGA player in front of net. The 2-2 Patriots fought gamely to the end, and Josh McMurray had a shot slide just wide of the far post in the last two minutes of regulation. Coach Burgoyne and the boys have something to build on as they go back to A/AA play Saturday against Davidson Academy of Nashville.
 
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
  Page 7, Loretto 0
Page traveled to Loretto for the first time yesterday and took the measure of a game Mustangs side, 7-0. Joel Everest (7 goals on the season) and Steven Matheny (3) each had two goals in the match, alongside fine goals from juniors Glen Dodson, Josh McMurray, and Oskar Wierdak. Matheny also registered three assists (5 on the season). Page looked quite good in the outing with a fine overall team game with controlling defense and sharp passing, and were just wide or off the post on several shots that quite frankly might have doubled their score. Next week things will be much, much tougher as BGA (#7 in Division II pre-season rankings) invades Arno Road.
 
  Page 9, Wayne County 0
(Apologies that it took so long to get the info in for this game...) The Patriots' first game at home found the situation reversed from the previous loss to Brentwood; this time they were the sharks as district minnows Wayne County came calling. senior forward Joel Everest had what I believe is a school record five goals in the contest. Senior midfielder Steven Matheny and freshmen Tommy Liddell, Logan Shillinglaw, and Blake Byerly each had one. Coach Burgoyne emptied the bench early and often for this one, giving the freshman and sophomore players valuable experience.
 
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
  Brentwood 11, Page 0
A sharks-and-minnows match against a school three times as large and sporting the fourth-ranked team in AAA led to the result you'd expect. Even if you'd like to believe the Brentwood coach wouldn't leave his starting center-mid and top scoring forward in the game until two minutes remaining just to pad their stats... bet you won't see that in the glowing report in tomorrow's newspaper... Wayne County on Thursday afternoon at PHS should be a decidedly different affair, with the return of Josh McMurray and Glen Dodson expected. Another great piece of news is the return of Aaron Crowley to the team; he played well in limited duty at Brentwood.
 
Saturday, March 12, 2005
  Preseason: Page 2, Independence 1
A shortened preseason was capped by a 2-1 win over Independence. No commentary here as I was not in attendance. Josh McMurray scored his second preseason goal and Steven Matheny got his first from the penalty spot. The boys will get a real test of heart and skill Monday at AAA powerhouse Brentwood.
 
A weblog on soccer-related subjects that interest me (right now, primarily soccer at Page High School, in Franklin, Tennessee).

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