Washington soccer begins season with two draws

Published 6:13 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019

WINTERVILLE — It’s not what head coach Jim Kozuch wanted, but the Pam Pack played two hard fought matches against a couple of the toughest soccer teams in Pitt County the past two evenings. The Pam Pack tied D.H. Conley 1-1 on Tuesday, and drew South Central 1-1 on Wednesday.

In non-conference play, teams can end in a draw. However, once conference play begins, a winner must be declared. In the result of a tie after 80 minutes, teams will go into golden-goal overtime — first team to score wins — then onto a penalty kick shootouts if still tied after that.

On Wednesday, that wasn’t the case. In a hard fought defensive battle, the Pam Pack struck first with 15 minutes remaining in the second half.

Ricardo Hernandez made a run towards the box and passed it on for a sprinting Dawson Cox, and he put it in the bottom right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

It wasn’t long after that the Falcons responded. After keeping the ball in Pam Pack territory for the majority of the next five minutes, a ball was able to trickle in on a bounce over the keeper after a corner kick.

A few opportunities arose for the Pam Pack in the closing moments, but they couldn’t breakthrough.

Beginning the season with two ties isn’t exactly what you dream of, but Kozuch still had some positive things to say about his team after the game.

“A tie is tough, especially with a lead with 15 minutes to go,” Kozuch said. “With that said, I think that we’re way ahead of what we thought we would be. We lost 12 out of 17 guys last year. This is completely different team, it’s a completely different look, but we’re working hard. The last two games haven’t been sexy but the results have been alright, so, we’re happy.”

After losing 12 seniors last year, the Pam Pack are looking at another 10 seniors on this year’s team. Will Crisp, Parker Graham, Edert Barrera, Elvin Elizalde, Michael Reid, Stewart Hopper, Tripp Pippin Reid Brodie Cox and Hernandez, will help lead the team this season as the senior class.

“We’ve held our ground with the higher schools in Greenville and that’s all we want to do,” Graham said after the game.

The lone goal scorer on the day, Cox, said that they needed to finish better the rest of the way through the schedule.

“We have to finish our goals, position better, pass in the midfield, but definitely preparing in the heat has helped us out. We lost a lot of seniors last year, but with the 14 guys we have, we look just as good.” Cox added.

The Pam Pack have a 22-game schedule this season, and next on the slate is trip to J.H. Rose High School on Tuesday of next week. First kick is set for 6:30 p.m.