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Conley soccer bests Farmville Central

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D.H. Conley's Gabriel Ochoa, left, (#25) prepares to kick the ball as Farmville Central's Dan Lauderdale, right, (#17) runs up next to him during a game Monday evening.

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By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monday’s match against Farmville Central was a bit of an odd one for D.H. Conley soccer coach John Matthews.

Matthews is in his second season coaching the Vikings after spending three years at the helm of the Jaguars’ program. His current squad picked up a 6-2 victory Monday over Farmville Central, putting up four goals in the second half to pull away in a game that was tied 2-2 at halftime.

“Farmville came out and put it to us in the first half,” said Matthews, who counted 10 of his former players still on FC’s team. “They played well. I was proud of them. It’s kind of tough to play against guys you coached when you know what they’re doing, but they worked hard. It was a good test.”

Monday’s contest was a make-up of a match that was supposed to be played last Wednesday, but was postponed due to weather. The 2-A Jaguars (3-3) showed little intimidation early against the 3-A Vikings, taking the lead in the first five minutes on a goal by Dan Lauderdale.

Conley (5-4) responded with a pair of goals by Coleman Ferrell in the 27th and 31st minutes to take the lead, but Farmville Central struck to tie it just 2:07 from halftime with a goal by Christian Sanchez.

The Vikings, frustrated at halftime, wasted little time turning the tide in the second half. Liam Collier’s goal 42 seconds after play resumed off an assist from Ferrell put Conley ahead for good, kicking off a half in which the Vikings commanded the ball and relentlessly attacked the FC defense.

Ethan Kennedy, Collier and Jorge Carrillo added goals later in the second half as Conley pulled away.

“We made some adjustments and moved a couple of guys around to try to create some space, and it worked out pretty good,” Matthews said. “At halftime, they kind of had their heads down and I was hoping making those adjustments would work and create some space. Coleman made a good play and Liam made a good finish.”

The matchup was supposed to be one of a pair against local 3-A opposition for Farmville Central. The Jaguars were also scheduled to take on J.H. Rose last week, but that game, too, was scuttled by inclement weather. Second-year coach Matt Passwater, who became the Jags’ coach upon Matthews’ departure, said Monday those teams were struggling to find a date on which that match could be made up.

Those contests were added to FC’s schedule this year in an attempt for Passwater’s club to play bigger, better teams and see some stiffer competition. Monday’s result may not have been the desired one, but Passwater called Conley the most organized team his had seen all season and said he felt like his team could learn from the experience.

“A year or two ago, we don’t do that,” he said of scheduling up in classification. “We need to take on some of these kinds of tests for our guys to see good soccer, and when you lose a Washington (out of our conference) which used to be that test, you’ve got to go somewhere else. Conley is right across the way and Coach Matthews used to coach there, so we had that tie. I appreciate it because he dipped all the way down to 2-A to take us on.

“The score is not ideal, but they’re a great team and we knew that coming in. ... It was a good test to find out where we were.”

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 or follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.

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