In what has been an unpredictable winter, what else could you expect other than a strange goal to kick off the soccer season.
Andrew Jackson used a bit of help from a rain-soaked playing surface at Zemp Stadium to score the only goal of the match in taking home a 1-0 victory over Camden in Tuesday’s season-opening boys’ soccer contest.
The visiting Volunteers scored just two minutes into the second half when a throw-in, deep in Camden’s end of the field, skidded atop the wet grass at the top of the box right which was taken by a open Volunteer striker. The shot short-hopped Bulldog netminder Richard White and deflected off his shoulder into the net.
"It was one of those crazy shots that took a tough bounce," said CHS head coach Mark Chickering.
The Bulldogs were playing minus the services of sophomore Moises Mata, who is recovering from minor surgery after having been the team’s leading scorer in 2014. Mata had scored all four of Camden’s goals in its pre-season scrimmages. Chickering said his team missed Mata’s leadership and ability to finish off scoring chances.
Camden had a chance to even things late in the match when Nick Ranges threw the ball into the box. The throw forced the Volunteers’ goalkeeper out of the goal mouth only to miss the ball. Nelson Semple was able to get a shot off but an AJ defender cleared the ball out with a shot that bounced off the post.
While disappointed with the setback, Chickering said there was plenty to build on from this match and his team’s effort.
"Overall, we played real well I thought," he said. "Our defense looked strong. Richard White, who had seven saves, is playing really well; it’s a shame he didn't get a better result.
"Offensively, we had a lot of chances but just could not convert. We were too picky with our shot selection; that's something we need to work on. I think our guys passed on a lot of shots and like they say ‘you miss 100 percent of shots you don’t take.’"