Marfing powers Wood past Sherando

April 11, 2012
By ROBERT NIEDZWIECKI

STEPHENS CITY — When James Wood junior forward Jon Henriques said he’d rather have senior teammate Spencer Marfing taking a shot inside the penalty box than him, Marfing lightly admonished Henriques not to say that.

You can’t blame Henriques for his answer, though. There haven’t been many players to don the Colonels uniform over the years who can impact a game as much as Marfing, and Tuesday night was just the latest example.

Marfing scored with about a minute remaining to lift James Wood to a 2-1 comeback victory over Sherando in the Northwestern District opener for both teams at Arrowhead Stadium

It was a big win for the defending district champion Colonels, who fell behind 1-0 in the 66th minute.
“We wanted to show the district that we’re ready to play this season as well, and I think we did that tonight,” Marfing said.

Marfing — who recorded a school-record 12 assists last year — was as big a reason as any that the Colonels (3-1, 1-0 Northwestern) accomplished that goal.

Marfing’s run into the penalty box with the ball less than a minute after Sherando scored set up Marfing’s penalty kick that tied the game. And in the final minute, he took a pass from Henriques inside the box in the middle of the field before surging past a Sherando defender and depositing his shot in the lower-right corner past Sherando’s charging goalkeeper Rodrigo Casteriana.

The final goal was Marfing’s eighth in just four games, one shy of the total he recorded last year in 19 games.

But the first goal might have been bigger, because neither team was able to generate much in terms of high-percentage scoring opportunities in Tuesday’s wind before Sherando senior midfielder Taylor Ruths fired a shot to the far left post over the head of James Wood goalkeeper Joe Kysela in the 66th minute to put the Warriors (1-5, 0-1) up 1-0.

“They say [a team is] most vulnerable when you first score, and I guess we proved that case, because we came right back and scored one,” Marfing said. “We got them on their toes and sort of got them out of their comfort zone.”

Marfing did that by trying to split two defenders and earning the foul that earned James Wood the penalty kick. Marfing buried the PK into the lower right corner to tie it at 1-1.

After the game, James Wood coach Chris Hild was jokingly telling senior midfielder Logan Yost that he couldn’t give Yost an assist for that goal, even though Yost was claiming he was the one who told Marfing to dribble into the box.

Hild, who was concerned how the Colonels would respond to Sherando’s goal, did say though that letting Marfing create with his feet is always a sound strategy. Particularly when it was so evident to him that Marfing was upset and determined to make something happen to get his team back into the game.

“My leaders took over, stepped up on the field and came back,” Hild said. “Obviously, Spencer dribbling down the field and getting that [PK] for us was huge. It brought us right back into it. ... That’s the kind of player he is. He can take a game over.”

And with the clock winding down, he put the finishing touch on the victory.

“We like to try and get the ball to the corner a lot, and you’ll see us hitting through balls there and everything,” Marfing said. “That was the ball we played to Jon, and he was sort of taking it down to the goalline to hope for a cross or something.

“But once that wasn’t very available, he cut it back, and the defenders just sort of split open. I knew he’d be looking at the top of the box.”

Though the Warriors played well enough to win and finished with a 12-9 shot advantage, Sherando coach Pat Anderson said James Wood got the job done by doing a little better overall.

Tuesday’s defeat was another tough blow for Sherando in a season full of them. The Warriors have had to deal with several injuries and Tuesday they were without senior sweeper Andrew Patterson, a 2011 all-district selection who is out for the year after suffering a ruptured spleen earlier this season, and sophomore Austin Wernecke, an all-district striker last year.

“Hopefully we’ll get on the same page someday,” Anderson said. “We’re not doing the little things right now, and that’s how it’s been this season.

“Thirty seconds kills us [Tuesday]. You score, you can’t let [them score]. One kid dribbles through you shouldn’t happen. We preach no slide-tackling, because no matter what, they’re going to call a penalty kick. I’ve been here long enough to see how that goes. But they outplayed us. They did a good job.”

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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