Dunbar boys' soccer capitalizes on penalty kicks

mmaloney@herald-leader.comSeptember 26, 2013 

Nothing simple about second-ranked Paul Laurence Dunbar's 3-1 victory Thursday night over No. 8 Woodford County.

The Bulldogs (13-0-1) prevailed despite missing six starters due to suspensions.

They also were the beneficiaries of two penalty kicks, neither of which sat well with the visiting Yellowjackets.

"I think every time you lose a game, especially if you lose by two goals, I can't in all honesty sit around and say we played well," Woodford Coach Fonyam Atanga said. "But this would be an exception. I think a 3-1 loss with the way we played is a very, very unfair scoreline.

"We should have definitely not lost the game; definitely not by 3-1, if we did lose. But we should have never lost this game the way we played."

Woodford (10-3-1) also fell to the Bulldogs 2-0 in last month's Fayette County Soccer Spectacular.

Both Dunbar penalty kicks came on handball calls.

The Bulldogs were playing six starters short for a second game in a row. Coach Todd Bretz said "we'll see" when asked when the suspensions will be complete.

As for the players who were on the pitch Monday, he said, "They're all on the team. They've all got to be ready to play. We're fortunate to have the depth that we do. Guys that may not have played many minutes earlier stepped up tonight and played very well."

Dunbar nearly scored in the opening minute and a half, but Ricky Clemente's shot from about 12 yards out was turned aside by Yellowjackets goalkeeper Esteban Favetto.

An offsides call negated a goal by Dunbar's Nathan Jones 9½ minutes in, but the Bulldogs didn't take much longer to grab the lead.

The goal came on Clemente's penalty kick at the 11:39 mark.

The Yellowjackets notched the first-half equalizer at 14:31, when Jason Murillo headed a crossing pass into the net.

Woodford had a pair of golden opportunities in the last two minutes of the half, but Dunbar goalie Josiah Farley stopped both shots.

Tyler Joy-Brandon converted the second penalty kick at the 43:52 mark.

He later put two shots off the crossbar midway through the second half.

Not long after those two misses, Woodford's Isaac Hayes got past Farley, but his shot was kicked aside at the goal line by sliding defender Jared Brown.

"That was all about effort," Brown said. "If we weren't getting back on the play and I was just stopping, I couldn't have gotten back. You just keep playing on."

Nelson Ng put the final nail in the coffin, scoring off a free kick with 2:43 left.

"It was all building up to that at that point," Ng said. "That just kind of sealed it, but it was the work in the back and all over the field throughout the game that kind of finished the game and helped us overcome the loss of the missing players so we could beat this good team."

Bretz was happy to have his team remain unbeaten, but said he's not concerned with the streak.

"It's more important for us to play well and get better," he said. "If that keeps the streak going, that's great.

"If we lose a game but we play a great game to a great team, that's fine. It's more important for us to keep working and try to get better for a couple weeks from now."

PAUL DUNBAR 3, WOODFORD COUNTY 1

GoalsWC: Jason Murillo. PLD: Ricky Clemente, Tyler Joy-Brandon, Nelson Ng.
Goalkeepers
WC: Esteban Favetto. PLD: Josiah Farley.
Records
—WC: 10-3-1; PLD: 13-0-1.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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