Pack falls to Patriots

Published 9:53 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Washington’s Sergio Higuera (9) fights for the ball during the Pam Pack’s 5-3 loss to West Carteret on Tuesday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

The intermittent rain the didn’t dampen the spirit of the Washington soccer team as it came out fired up to take on West Carteret in a battle to climb out of the Coastal Conference basement. However, the same might not be said upon the conclusion of the contest as the Pam Pack surrendered a halftime lead en route to a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Patriots.
“We were thinking muddy field: advantage us,” Washington coach Jimmy Kozuch said. “Our guys were really excited to come out and play today and they were hoping the game wouldn’t can’t cancelled. Soccer players love playing in tough conditions.”
The Pam Pack sloshed through the mud and fought hard for loose balls and when Turner Fottler notched his third goal of the afternoon Washington took a 3-2 lead at the 39:14 mark in the second half.
It appeared that the Pam Pack would capitalize on the moment shift, but in fact, it was the Patriots that responded as they ripped off a 3-0 run to close out the game and take a 5-3 victory.
“I think we took a precautionary style which actually hurt us,” Kozuch said. “Once we gave up (the game-tying) goal we lost all momentum. Unfortunately, it was down hill from there.”
White Oak jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first half, but the Pam Pack was able to tie it up on Fottler’s first goal.
The Patriots recaptured the lead later in the half, but once again a Fottler goal would even the scoreboard.
The teams would go into halftime locked in a 2-2 tie, and when play resumed Fottler drilled a 10-foot shot from the right side of the field past the Patriots’ keeper to allow the Pam Pack to take it’s first lead of the night.
“Tuner works really hard. He’s a good player and he’s put in a lot of time and it’s showing this year. He’s got about 15 goals,” Kozuch said. “He did what he could tonight and he was pretty successful. He just needed a little bit more help.”
The loss drops Washington’s Coastal Conference record to 1-5 midway through the schedule and if the Pam Pack wants to make the postseason it must regroup and regain its focus for the second half of the season.
“The loss sets us back to point A,” Kozuch said. “We just finished the halfway point and we really didn’t have the results we were looking for in the first half of the season so we’re just going to have to go out and beat some of those team’s we lost to the first time around and come back with more intensity and more effort.”