WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
Rather than storm the field or cheer in celebration, exhausted players from both York and Grafton collapsed on the field when the final whistle blew Thursday night.
In a matchup of the Bay Rivers District top teams, neither regulation nor overtime could separate York (10-0-1) and Grafton (6-0-3). Both the Falcons and Clippers remain unbeaten thanks to the 2-2 draw at Bailey Field.
York rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to tie the game late in the second half. Two scoreless overtime periods, though, denied both teams sole possession of the district’s top spot.
“I think it was a great game locally,” Grafton Coach Johnny Yu said. “Keeping it exciting.”
High-paced, technical and physical play kept a raucous crowd engaged for 90 minutes, while both Yu and York Coach Ryan Hagerty anxiously paced the sideline throughout the night.
After commanding the run of play for the opening 20 minutes, York conceded the game’s first score. Grafton’s Adam King launched a throw-in toward the goal, where Colton Nichols rose up to redirect the ball past the York goalkeeper.
Both teams settled into a fairly matched possession battle over the next 10 minutes. Where York excelled in creating chances, Grafton found success in the counterattack.
With nine minutes remaining in the half, the Clippers’ counterattack paid dividends. Grafton switched the ball to the left flank, catching York unbalanced. Robin Ahlers received the ball, cut inside to shake a defender before regaining his balance for a hard shot to the near post that found the back of the net.
Coming out of the break and leading by two goals, Yu said he urged his Clippers to play more defensively. Hagerty responded in turn, throwing more numbers forward.
The Falcons capitalized with 16 minutes left in regulation. After a forward was dragged down from behind, the referee awarded York a penalty. Max Poelker stepped to the penalty spot and lined a shot to the right post where a diving Jay Fox came up with a key save for Grafton.
Poelker made up for the miss four minutes later: A Cole Hawkins cross fell into a mass of players before emerging near Poelker. The Falcons captain beat Fox to the near post to cut the deficit in half.
York fed off the momentum change and tallied a number of chances over the next 10 minutes.
With less than two minutes remaining, the Falcons earned a corner. Garrett Gonzalez worked his way through the defense, redirected the cross toward the back post and evened the scoreboard.
Gonzalez broke into an all-out sprint in celebration as his teammates gave chase.
“As soon as I headed it, I knew it was going in,” Gonzalez said. “I ran back and started cheering. It was so hype. I had butterflies and everything.”
Despite the momentum now firmly entrenched with the Falcons, York could not find a third goal in overtime. Grafton failed to score as well, coming up short against York’s goalkeeper, who logged his first varsity minutes.
“We knew it was going to come down to the end,” Hagerty said. “Once we missed the PK, it could have messed us up, but we bounced back. Being down 2-0, they could have given up. It was their decision on what to do, and obviously I’m proud of the guys.”
Both teams enjoy three days off before returning to action next week. York hosts Jamestown Monday, while Grafton travels to Warhill Tuesday.
York 2, Grafton 2
Goals: York (Max Poelker, Garrett Gonzalez), Grafton (Colton Nichols, Robin Ahlers)
Assists: Grafton (Adam King)
Wolons Scores Four Goals for Jamestown
Jeff Wolons scored four times during Jamestown’s 7-3 road victory over Bruton on Thursday.
Bruton, which normally plays a four-man defense, shifted to a five-man defense in an attempt to limit Jamestown’s potent offense.
Despite the change, Jamestown was still able to build a 3-0 halftime lead.
Bruton’s Chuckie Tenbusch pulled the Panthers within 3-1 after scoring on a penalty kick early in the second half.
Jeff Wolons of Jamestown responded less than a minute later by tacking on a goal, giving Jamestown a three-goal cushion.
The win marks Jamestown’s third in a row, pushing the Eagles to 5-1 on the season with an upcoming road game Monday against York.
Conversely, Bruton has dropped three straight games with a road game against Tabb on Tuesday.
Jamestown 7, Bruton 3
Goals: Jamestown (Jeff Wolons 4, Dan Kelly, Antonio Gonzalez, Duncan McDevitt), Bruton (Lanson Fontaine 2, Chuckie Tenbusch)
Assists: Jamestown (Jeff Wolons, Antonio Gonzalez, Duncan McDevitt, Ben Carper 2), Bruton (Matt Gerdes, Chuckie Tenbusch)
Lafayette Gives Up Late Goal to Draw With Poquoson
Despite forcing Lafayette (5-2-2) goalkeeper David Domalski to make three saves, Poquoson found the equalizing goal with three minutes left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
Neither team could break through in the extra periods, ended the game in a 2-2 tie.
For Lafayette, the draw marks their fourth in their last six games.
With five seconds left in the game, Lafayette’s Jason Eckenrode found himself in a 1-on-1 situation against Poquoson’s keeper.
The Poquoson keeper made a clutch save and turned away the potential game-winning goal.
Lafayette will hope to back to its winning ways as the Rams travel to take on Smithfield at 7 p.m. Monday.
Lafayette 2, Poquoson 2
Goals: (Reed Richardson, Jason Eckenrode)
Assists: Lafayette (Justin Wilson)
Tabb Shuts Out New Kent
Derek Cook scored a pair of goals and added an assist as Tabb defeated New Kent 6-0 at home Thursday.
Tabb’s (2-3-1) Allen Blair added two goals of his own in the winning effort.
Hunter Winslow and Aaron Adams each chipped in goals.
Tabb will visit Warhill at 7 p.m. Friday.
Tabb 6, New Kent 0
Goals: Tabb (Derek Cook 2, Allen Blair 2, Hunter Winslow, Aaron Adams)
Assists: Tabb (Derek Cook, Bryan Quachyeargin, Andrew Lenfant, Matt Montgomery, Alex Perry)