The 1-3 Annandale Men’s Varsity Soccer suffered a 2-0 defeat at home against Jeb Stuart on April 3rd 2018. This loss was marked as the second consecutive against Stuart this season.
Then, On Friday, April 6, the Atoms moved on to play the West Potomac Wolverines in which the result was a 1-1 tie.
During the first few minutes of the game, the Atoms started out strong and had a few shots on goal and many breakthroughs, but no goals.
“I think what we saw on the good side of things was the team playing really well together, everybody really gave there finest effort and it really showed even if it was a substitute that came in,” varsity soccer Head Coach Rico Moore said.
Then, up until half-time, the Wolverines soon adapted to Annandale’s high pressing play style and possession started to even out.
“Overall, for most of the game, possession appeared to be balanced along with opportunities,” Augusto Gonzalez-Suarez captain plays midfield on the team, said.
The rest of the first half remained this way in that neither team was able to score, but each had a plentiful amount of opportunities followed by missed shots or close saves. But, that was soon to change in the second half which featured successful free kicks and other positive plays.
“The team is most definitely improving because they really have a handle on what our system is and what are style is and they are really applying it now,” Moore said.
Annandale’s used and kept a high pressing play style featuring attempts to keep the ball on the ground featuring short passes followed by long through balls in hopes to create big plays.
“We kept moving the ball and high pressing, this is something we have been working on throughout our practices this week. We have decided as a team that high pressing is how we play at our best, so we will continue to work on moving as a team,” Gonzalez-Suarez said.
This is the common play style that Annandale has used since a 3-1 defeat at Thomas Edison High School.
Eventually, in the second half, the Atoms drew a foul and earned a free kick. A perfectly placed free kick in the air allowed for Senior midfielder #16 Jasiel Aldino to score off of a header giving Annandale the 1-0 lead in the second half.
“If they keep doing as well as they did the other night, I think we’ll really have room to make a lot of noise in the district,” Moore said.
Later in the half, however, this lead would not be maintained as West Potomac also scored off of another free kick. After this, neither team was able to score again as strong defenses on both sides were fortified. The game then ended at a 1-1 draw. This makes the Atoms’ record 1-3-1.
Overall, the Atoms have been more successful as a team when playing together and communicating on the field.
“Due to our being good at high pressing in our game, I feel confident in saying we will have a good winning season,” Gonzalez-Suarez said.
Annandale will play West Potomac again on April 24 and will have the opportunity redeem themselves with a win.
“The strength of the team is the skill level of the boys, the boys have a really high skill level but they have brought from everywhere from club ball to just playing soccer all there lives.
They can do things with the ball that I can’t even imagine doing”, Moore said.
Annandale’s next game will be on Tuesday, April 10, away against the mighty, undefeated T.C. Williams Titans.