By Bob Simmons
As of Aug. 29, the Winfield Warriors have a 2-3 record. In recent games, they played at Canton on Aug. 25 With a new formation the Warriors were better able to compete.
“In Canton, we saw an opponent similar to our own skill level,” said Coach Zachary Johnson. “We were unable to find the back of the net and allowed a single goal in both halves.”
Senior Levi Staley was moved from a defensive position to a more offensively-minded role.
“He has shown success in putting the opponents’ back line under pressure and will certainly get himself on the score sheet soon,” said Johnson. “Against Canton he was unable to find the net but did record a few shots and definitely caused chaos for defenders. We had opportunities but Canton was in control of most of the game. If we can find ways to capitalize off the chances we create for ourselves, opponents like Canton will have to respect us more. But, we’ve got to get goals before that will happen.”
Winfield hosted Elsberry on Aug 28. The Warriors came out with a lot of intensity but then took their foot off the gas and allowed Elsberry to have too many opportunities. Mistakes proved costly early in the game and Winfield fell behind. Those mistakes and Elsberry’s ability to capitalize on them visibly took the fight out of the Warriors.
“We were unable to help ourselves out by missing some great scoring opportunities in the first half,” said Johnson. “Luckily, we had junior Kodey Kaimann back from injury.”
Kaimann scored three goals throughout the game. His penalty conversion in the first half evened the score at 2-2 near the end of the first half.
“Kodey is riding high on confidence and is playing a more advanced position,” Johnson said. “Initially I had him playing defense but it’s become plain to see that his talents better suit the squad in the center midfield. Once again, we allowed too many easy goals in the second half and were lucky to head to overtime with the score even at 4-4.”
Also back from injury was Jacob Taylor, freshman keeper. Having recently received a kick to the face that put him out a couple games, he bravely made the save of the game going hands first into a sliding opponents feet very late in the second half to keep Winfield in the game.
Kaimann converted a free kick from about 25 yards out to win the game in overtime.
Scoring for Elsberry were by Tyler Bredenkoetter, Anthony Bange and Gabino Gonzalez
“As exciting as our two wins have been, both coming in overtime, I’d like to see us put opponents away during regulation. We’re moving in the right direction and with some players joining the squad later in the season, our bench will be much deeper once they complete enough practices to become eligible for play,” said Johnson.