Pack puts up good fight against top-ranked Cardinals|Worsley has solid night in net

Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sports Writer

The Washington soccer team went up against the best on Tuesday and though the Pam Pack didn’t get a win, it put forth a solid performance in its 2-0 loss to Coastal Conference rival Jacksonville.
The Cardinals (9-0, 1-0) headed into the bout as the No. 1 ranked 3-A team in the state, and looked it as they dominated the ball throughout both halves. Though Jacksonville controlled the tempo of the game, Pam Pack goalie Steven Worsley did a good job of keeping his club in the mix.
Worsley made several big saves in the opening half, and blanked the Cardinals in the second.
Jacksonville netted its first goal at the 21:48 mark as it slipped the ball past a charging Worsley on the right half of the field.
The Cardinals notched their second goal less then five minutes later when it scored off a header on an in-bounds pass.
Aside from those two plays, the Pam Pack defense held up during a physical game. Washington coach Jimmy Kozuch said Worsley’s improvement had a lot to do with being able to give Jacksonville a good run.
“Steven’s been coming up big, he’s come a long way,” Kozuch said. “He has learned the game a lot more, and he’s not scared at all. He makes big saves and just loves to be out there.”
Despite a resilient defense, the Pam Pack struggled mightily to get quality scoring chances, something Kozuch attributed to the veteran play of Jacksonville.
“A lot of it comes from their experience,” Kozuch said. “A lot of their guys have grown up playing together. It also has to do with their talent level. A lot of their players are just so skillful and smart, and a lot of them will be playing college somewhere.”
There is never a reason to be happy with a loss, but Kozuch said that being competitive throughout the entire game was a moral victory for the Pam Pack (4-3, 0-1).
“I think the guys are really, really happy,” Kozuch said. “Losing 2-0 nothing, I think that’s the lowest amount of goals we have given up in a loss. I think our guys are pretty pumped up, but we got to go right back to work against West Craven (Thursday at home) and just keep up the intensity.”
Kozuch said Tuesday’s game should serve as a confidence booster.
“I want to say this is probably our best game of the year,” Kozuch said. “There is a lot we learned tonight and a lot we can build confidence from. They know that if they can play with these guys they can play with anyone.”