Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

GREG BARNARD OF Tri-Valley (5) controls the ball at midfield as Sullivan West’s Nate Bucar (left) and Justin Pinkel try to stop him from kicking the ball upfield in Tuesday’s game. At right is Tri-Valley’s Eric Polick.

Tri-Valley Is Put
On the Defensive

By Rob Potter
GRAHAMSVILLE — October 26, 2001 – The Sullivan West boys’ soccer team kept the ball in the Tri-Valley end of the field for much of Tuesday’s OCIAA Division IV match.
Consequently, it was only a matter of time before the visiting Bulldogs began to send some shots at the Bear goal and into the net.
After sending more than one shot completely over the Tri-Valley goal in the first 25-plus minutes of play, the Bulldogs improved their aim. During the rest of the contest, the SW (8-8, 5-3 Division V) shots found the net with regularity as the Bulldogs recorded a 7-0 win over the Bears.
SW scored three goals in the final 12 minutes of the first half to gain control of the match.
At the 27:48 mark, Justin Pinkel gained control of the ball amid several players in the T-V (4-11, 1-7 Division V) goal box. He then quickly kicked the ball between Bear goalie Ryan Briggs, who ran over to close the shooting angle, and the post for the first SW tally. Kevin Brucher was credited with an assist on the play.
About six minutes later, Pinkel assisted on a goal by Kevin Erlwein for a 2-0 SW advantage.
Then with one minute remaining before the half, the Bulldogs scored on a corner kick. Ryan Brewer kicked the ball into a crowd of players near the T-V goal, where Jon Fanning was able to head the ball into the net for a 3-0 lead.
Sullivan West began the second half where it left off. Just two minutes into the half, Justin Pinkel scored off a Nate Bucar assist.
Midway through the half, Mike Erlwein and Dan Steele scored goals three minutes apart. Erlwein headed the ball past Briggs at the 20:00 mark thanks to a pass by Ed Raum, and Steele scored on an assist from Brewer to make it 6-0.
Pinkel scored his second goal of the game with three minutes remaining.
Sullivan West outshot T-V by a 24-8 margin on the afternoon. The Bulldogs also held a 10-0 corner kick advantage in the match.
Bulldog Coach Howie Whitmore said while his squad had already clinched a spot in the upcoming sectional tournament, the victory helped their cause.
“This probably clinched a little bit higher seed for us,” Whitmore said.
(The meeting to determine the exact seeds as well as times and locations of sectional games was scheduled for last night.)
“We played well and kept the ball in their end of the field,” Whitmore said.
While he was happy with the win, he noted that there are a few things his team needs to work on before sectional play starts next week.
“Good shots on goal are at a premium in those games,” Whitmore explained. “Once we get the ball, we need to focus our shots a little better. We have to work on our passing as well.”
Combining to record the shutout were SW goalies Matt Pomes and Carlos Arqueta. Pomes, who left the game for about 10 minutes in the first half after colliding with a T-V player while making a save, recorded three saves. Arqueta made two saves.
Briggs stopped 16 shots for the Bears.
“It was a tough one,” T-V coach Chuck Bernard said of the contest. “We have a core of five or six good players and some younger kids. The younger kids aren’t bad players, they just lack experience.”
T-V senior Ben Weisburg left the match late in the first half with a shoulder injury. Bernard wasn’t sure if Weisburg would be able to play in the Bears’ last match of the season, a non-league event versus Monticello yesterday.
“It’s a shame,” he said of the injury to Weisburg, a three-year varsity player for T-V. “He was one of our most improved players last year and he played well this season.”

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