Sloppy play dooms Pam Pack soccer to opening-season loss

Published 6:32 pm Saturday, August 18, 2018

JACKSONVILLE — The Pam Pack soccer team got off to a slow start yesterday, lacking sharpness on both the attacking and defensive ends in a season-opening 2-0 loss to Southwest Onslow.

Pam Pack head coach Jim Kozuch was disappointed in how his team looked yesterday, saying his team struggled in multiple areas.

“Our ball movement was not very good, it wasn’t up to par. And defensively we were shaky,” Kozuch said. “We played so much better all summer long. I was pretty disappointed in the way we looked.”

Washington (0-1) and Southwest Onslow (2-1) went back and forth to open the game. A couple of defensive mistakes from the Pam Pack led to opportunities for the Stallions, but they weren’t able to convert those chances into goals.

Southwest Onslow finally put one into the back of the net 25 minutes in. A deflection off of a Washington defender led to a Stallion attacker going in one-on-one with Pam Pack goalkeeper Spencer Worley and the Southwest Onslow player coolly finished to give his team a 1-0 lead. Seth Davis had a chance to give Washington the lead earlier in the game, but his shot from 20 yards out rattled the cross bar and bounced out of bounds.

The Stallions came out in the second half with a defensive approach, seemingly content with the one-goal lead. Southwest Onslow scored its second goal off of a fluky play from a free kick 45 yards out. Miscommunication between Worley and his backline during the free kick saw the ball bounce in the box and go over the head of Worley, who was off his line, and into the net for the Stallions’ second goal.

Southwest Onslow sat back in the second half, allowing Washington to grow more into the game and generate some shots. Senior Tim Anglim had the best chance to score, but Southwest Onslow’s goalie produced a great save to preserve his shutout. The Pam Pack had several other shots in the second half, but they lacked the finishing touch, going high or wide of the goal.

While Kozuch wasn’t happy with how his team played, he did like how some players making the jump to the varsity team looked. Both Davis at forward and Luis Ramirez in defense were guys he singled out as playing well.

Washington returns to action Monday, with the Pam Pack heading to Edenton to take on John A. Holmes.