Chargers just miss state trip
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:00 pm
Soccer can be a game of inches, too.
Scoring a goal just between a well-positioned Scout Edwards and the post and then seeing a couple of late Westview shots sail just wide, Kingsbury survived its Class A-AA sectional match for a 1-0 win over the Chargers Saturday afternoon in Memphis.
“We were in perfect position,” Westview head coach Dan Scates said of the game’s only goal. “But, they just placed the ball in the lower right corner of the goal. We probably missed it by a few inches, and then we had our chances at the end that were just a few inches off.”
Christian Espinosa took a corner kick from Manuel Madrid in the 38th minute of the first half for what proved to be the game-winner.
It was the only one of Kingsbury’s 21 shots on goal that got past Westview’s strong defense. Keeper Scout Edwards finished with 13 saves, giving him 71 for the season.
“Collins Alexander and Abraham Haddad were outstanding on defense for us,” Scates said. “They’re the fastest players we have, and they were spreading out to stop their advances. And, Scout saved his best game for last. He was all over the place in goal stopping their shots.”
Kingsbury, last year’s state runner-up, used its overall team speed to keep Westview on its heels much of the game. The Chargers managed just four shots on goal, two of those coming in the final minutes of the match.
“That’s the first team I’ve coached against where everybody on the field had speed,” Scates said. “Even the goalie was fast. He’d come way out to make plays, and we almost burned him once.
“They just force you to chase them all over the field, and that eventually wears you out. Our kids showed a lot of heart, though. We were run ragged at the end, but we still had our chances to win. We just came up a few inches short.”
Westview graduates six seniors from this year’s club, Scates saying it will be the most players he loses from one team since the mid-1990s.
Among those who have now donned the cap and gown are Haddad and Adam Reinhard, the program’s all-time leader in goals scored.
“There’s a rumor going around that three or four area coaches were at our graduation to make sure Haddad and Reinhard got their diplomas,” Scates joked. “They’ve meant a lot to our program, not just this year’s team. Adam is the ultimate team player. I know he’d trade every goal for a trip to Murfreesboro to play in the state tournament. Abraham started at forward for us for three years and sacrificed his offense to help out on defense. Being back there made us a stronger team.”
In addition, Alexander, Edwards, Miles Gearin and Sumner Gilliam have all graduated as well.
It is a senior class that made its mark in other ways at Westview.
Reinhard, Haddad and Gearin were all in the top 10 academically, Alexander was among the top 20 and Gilliam has signed a scholarship to play for The Pride of the Southland Band at the University of Tennessee.
“We have six good players we have to replace,” Scates said, pointing to Nic Fortner and Cal Bradshaw to be offensive leaders next season. “But, this program is not going anywhere. We have several opportunities for people to step up and accept the challenge next year.”
Kingsbury, now 13-4-3, will play Greeneville (15-5-1) in the quarterfinals Tuesday night in the TSSAA Class A-AA State Tournament. Westview finishes the season at 12-5-1. Published in The WCP 5.22.12