JA’s Anderson Wilson moves the ball against Columbus Centennial on Monday. The Pioneers edged the Stars, 1-0, during a Division II tournament match. (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff)
Jonathan Alder’s boys soccer team claimed a 1-0 victory over the visiting Columbus Centennial Stars on Monday.
Action came during the opening match of the Division II tournament.
“I knew it was going to be an ugly match,” JA head coach Craig Devine said. “They’re a tough matchup for us… they attack with speed.”
Coming off a 3-0 win in their last regular season match against Shawnee, the Pioneers looked to keep the good times rolling with their first post-season match at Volunteer field.
Eager to start on the pitch, the Pioneers went right at the visiting Stars’ neck, putting pressure on their half of the field. Getting a few shots off, it seemingly caught the Stars off-guard with the Pioneers claiming the lead after a goal score in the 38th minute of the match.
Connor Boggs tallied the goal and Carson Skidmore earned the assist.
“I think we just caught them flat in the beginning,” Devine said.
With a handful of saves in the first half of play, senior goalie Dom Dellapina kept the game ahead for JA.
At the half, both respective teams went to their corners of the pitch strategizing on their next move or tendency. With a distant cheer on the opposite side, the Stars looked to challenge the lead.
“They’re relentless; they don’t stop,” Devine said when describing Centennial’s offense.
In the final minutes of the match, both teams’ coaches and the fellow teammates could be heard cheering their players on the field as a tie was within reach for Centennial, which was the No. 10 seed.
However, a solid defensive stand by JA sealed the deal at home in front of a loyal fanbase.
The No. 7 Pioneers will play at No. 6 Bloom Carroll on Wednesday (7 p.m.) for their next tourney game.
JA, the No. 7 seed, will play at No. 6 Bloom-Carroll.