By Graham Henderson
Facing undefeated International High School, the Waldorf School boys soccer team held its own at first, but succumbed to the Jaguars 5-0 on Tuesday in Bay Counties League Central action at Crocker Amazon Playground.
The Wolverines (3-3-0, 2-2-0) came into the game with four of its best players sidelined with injuries and struggled to get their offense going throughout.
“We had very little ability to attack,” said Waldorf head coach Joel Snyder. “The two attackers we did have are playing injured, so we really had a five- or six-man squad. To hold them to two goals in the first half, that’s a victory in itself.”
The Jaguars (8-0-2, 5-0-0) won by a considerable margin, but the score easily could have been greater.
International forward Kai Leshne missed two golden opportunities in the opening fifteen minutes, once missing high and another missing just wide after impressive runs right through the Waldorf defenders.
Despite being held to only two goals in the first half, the Jaguars dominated the game, outshooting Waldorf 8-0 in the first half and 15-1 in the game.
It was a Waldorf mistake that put the Jaguars on the board first in the 19th minute. Wolverines’ goalkeeper Dyami Bryant-Escobar muffed a goal kick, setting up Jose Garduno for an easy goal.
Garduno followed up his goal with an assist in the 28th minute, when he found Claudio Tarchi wide open on a fast break upfield. Tarchi was able to out-sprint the Wolverines’ defense, and easily beat Bryant-Escobar in the resulting one-on-one opportunity.
“I think physically, we were a little stronger than them,” said International head coach Carlos Bover.
With only 11 players suited up for the game, Waldorf was left with no substitutes, leaving its defenders exhausted for the second half.
“We’re a small school,” Snyder said. “Our whole squad is all of about 16 or 17 people.”
The Jaguars were quick to pounce on the tired Waldorf defense. Fancy footwork kept the ball tantalizingly close, but just beyond the reach of the Waldorf defense.
Clay Bloszies scored in the 45th minute by running through the defenders, who were unable to win tackles even when they were fast enough to catch up.
As the second half wore on, the rout continued, and in the 69th minute, Garduno earned his second assist of the game, hitting Leshne with a perfect cross. Leshne’s header found the top corner of the net, giving him his second goal of the game.
“Jose just ran down the line, and it was just a great cross,” Leshne said. “It was easy for me to just head it in.”
While the game was an easy win for International, but Bover was able to use the opportunity to size up his team.
“We have everybody today, so it’s a tight competition to start,” he said. “We have a lot of things to work on still, but we like to use these games to practice on the things that we need to work on.”
I: 19th minute — Jose Garduno
I: 28th minute — Claudio Tarchi
I: 45th minute — Clay Boszies
I: 62nd minute — Kai Leshne
I: 69th minute — Leshne