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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 29, 2011

Bulldogs forced to claw back but lacks enough bite to win

By Jordan J. Michael

BERNE –– It was an uphill climb for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo soccer team on Tuesday after giving up two goals to Galway in the first seven minutes of play. Trying hard to get back, the Bulldogs completely wasted themselves.

The two swift goals by the Eagles were unfortunate for BKW, which afterwards started to settle down, possess the ball, and feed the ball into Galway’s box to create chances. During the first seven minutes, the Bulldogs couldn’t win a ball.

“Sometimes we don’t come out as alert as we should,” senior Co-Captain Nate Krimsky said after the 3-to-1 loss at home. “It’s frustrating to be down that quickly.”

Ryan Pappalau scored almost instantly for Galway, capitalizing on a wide-open chance at the top of the 18. BKW Head Coach Jim Gillis yelled out to his players, wondering why no one was covering Pappalau.

For the Eagles’ second tally, Josh Bailey beat a defender, dribbling parallel to the end line towards the goal. Bailey passed the ball to Casey Mello, who put a shot past BKW goalkeeper Trevor Haack.

“We can’t get beat down the line,” Gillis said. “Three goals might have killed my team, but they settled down and started playing really well.”

Galway Head Coach Rob Martin was just happy to score first because his team hadn’t been doing that lately. “It was a consistent start,” he said.

Taylor Repscher, one of 12 underclassmen for BKW, got a breakaway with about one minute left in the first half. Instead of playing the ball on the ground, Repscher shot it directly at goalie Evan Ceroala, who made the save.

Gillis said that there were a couple of missed opportunities for BKW throughout the game. “It’s better to put the ball on the ground, find an angle,” he said. “They’ll learn from those situations.”

The Bulldogs applied immense pressure in the second half, putting the Eagles’ defense on its heels. In the 50th minute, Josh VonHaugg had some space at the top of the 18 and flicked a ground shot past the diving keeper to cut Galway’s lead in half, 2 to 1.

“That goal completely changed our dynamic,” Krimsky said. “We went from way down to way up.”

With a tied game in site, BKW tried to win as many balls as possible, spending considerable time in Galway’s half of the field. However, the Eagles eventually made a surge and put the game away in the 75th minute with a goal from Jacob Miller.

“I told the kids at half time that the worst lead in soccer is 2 to 0,” said Gillis. “We hung around and I’m proud of their effort. They got tired after working so hard.”

The Bulldogs, with only five upperclassmen, are 2-3-1 in the Western Athletic Conference South. The team played at Mayfield on Wednesday and hosts Northville on Friday. BKW has scored 11 goals on the season.

Gillis told The Enterprise that his team stays “pretty positive” when its down. The Bulldogs learned how to deal with adversity when it lost to Mekeel Christian Academy, 7 to 1, on Sept. 16. 

“They work really hard,” Gillis said of his players. “Coaches lay the blame, but players need to stay together and be positive. Don’t hang your head.”

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