By RYAN HERMAN
VALE –– Still in search of the season’s first conference boys soccer victory, West Lincoln dominated its match with Bandys Wednesday save for one mental lapse on defense.
That was all the Trojans needed.
Emilio Torres snuck in behind the defense to score on a breakaway, and Bandys held on for the 1-0 win at West Lincoln.
It’s been the story of the Rebels’ season: A well-played match with nothing to show for it, except another Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference loss.
“It’s just one little bloop of something that happens,” West Lincoln coach Tom Riley said. “That’s how it happened on Monday (in a 2-2 tie) against Bunker Hill. … I thought we had it defended well, then the ball’s popped back. The kid’s just fast.”
The Rebels (4-8-1, 0-7-1) outshot Bandys 13-5 and controlled possession for most of the match. But a deflected ball caught their defense off guard, and Torres made them pay.
He received the ball roughly 40 yards out, and took it all the way as there was nothing but open field between him and the keeper.
That play happened with 27 minutes left to play. If time was worth points, West Lincoln would have won 79-1.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, it isn’t.
“That’s one thing we’ve got to realize –– the speed and the skill level of the teams we’re playing and allow for that cushion and allow for that difference,” Riley said. “But they’re learning. They’re figuring that out.”
Even in a loss, Riley was able to find a silver lining. Although there are no wins in that column of the SD-7 standings, Wednesday’s performance was a vast improvement from the 5-0 loss the Rebels suffered at Bandys (5-3-0 SD-7) on Sept. 9.
“If you’d seen them the first time we played Bandys until now, totally different team,” he said. “Right now, we’ve just got to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net.”