Oak Glen boys regain confidence in sectional win
NEW MANCHESTER — Coming off a tough end to the regular season, Oak Glen boys soccer coach Jaison Polly knew his team would need to bounce back in a hurry with the sectional tournament starting.
His No. 3 seed Golden Bears did just that, winning the West Virginia Class A/AA sectional opener, 6-0, over a young No. 6 seed Magnolia club.
“We worked on some things that I knew we needed to work on,” Polly said. “It’s a much better feeling than (Thursday’s home loss to Brooke). It’s good to get some confidence early in the tournament. We tried to get it late in the regular season, but fell short. It definitely helps to have some confidence.
“It shows resilience to bounce back. Getting (last week) out of their head and coming to play (Monday) is what the boys did.”
The Golden Bears (7-8-5) got a pair of goals from Andrew Giambroni, both in the first half, and an assist. Polly pointed to him a s a player he knew would step up in the win-or-go-home match.
“He’s definitely someone we look for to step up,” he said. “As an outside mid, that is his responsibility to make those runs and be there for cross goals.”
Tristan Lawson also had two goals, both of his coming in the second half.
“That’s his first goals ever,” Polly said. “He is in my back line, and he went up and scored.
Lucas Harris added a goal and an assist, as did Stephon Polly. Andrew Snyder and Jeremy Adams also recorded assists.
“There were quite a few players with goals, which is good to have,” coach Polly said. “You can’t just have one player scoring.”
With a young group, Magnolia (2-15-1) coach Ryan Yost knew what went wrong.
“Our midfield has to learn to step up to the ball a little bit more,” he said. “We’re not fighting for the ball, we’re not communicating very well. That was one of our biggest problems. We have to learn to slow down a little bit. They get possession, they hear someone coming and get a little intimidated. They just put a foot to the ball and don’t look where we’re going with it.”
He also likes the experience his team gained.
“I don’t have any seniors this year and five freshman,” he said. “It’s been a good learning year for us. We’ll try to take what we learned this year and carry it over into next year.”
Every time the Blue Eagles did get a scoring chance, Oak Glen keeper Jacob Clark was there to make the save. While his eight stops are a lower total than usual, the majority of them were quality saves.
“We had a few good shots on goal, but he is a tall, lanky guy,” Yost said. “It’s hard to beat a guy like that has arms that long.”
In the other net, Jordan Davis recorded 17 saves for Magnolia.
“My first-string goal Woodson London broke his hand four games ago,” Yost. “Jordan stepped up. He’s a freshman and has picked it up the last few games. I’m proud of him.”
Magnolia: Season concludes.
Oak Glen: Will face No. 2 Wheeling Central at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on the road.
“I have good feelings about Wednesday night,” coach Polly said. “The way they are looking and playing, the spirits are high, mistakes are corrected.”