Sherando, Wood settle for 1-1 draw

By Robert Niedzwiecki

The Winchester Star

Winchester — Following Anthony Pinto’s 38th-minute goal, several members of the Sherando High School boys’ soccer team began yelling “Zero-zero” — a reminder for the Warriors not to let the numbers on the scoreboard change the way they play.

A minute later, James Wood sophomore Carlos Carillo’s beautiful 30-yard goal into the upper-left corner tied the game.

Though neither Sherando nor James Wood was satisfied with settling for a 1-1 tie, the Colonels’ resolve, highlighted by the final minutes of the first half, might have been the most notable thing to come out of Thursday’s Northwestern District game at Jerry L. Kelican Stadium.

The Colonels (2-7-2, 2-2-1 Northwestern) showed significantly more spark than in Monday’s 6-0 loss to Handley, and they didn’t allow any late-game heroics in their rematch against Sherando (5-4-2, 3-1-1), which won the first game 1-0 on a goal by senior midfielder Michael O’Connell with 30 seconds left in overtime. “I’m very pleased with the way that our team played,” James Wood senior forward Zach Lloyd said. “We played as a team and less as individuals.

“I think Handley just caught us on our heels, and so we came out fired up because Sherando’s a big rivalry team. We just decided to give what we’ve got.”

What fans got was another game where neither of the evenly-matched teams controlled the run of play for a significant stretch.

But after Pinto’s goal from 16 yards out with just under three minutes left in the half, Sherando did have a chance to be the first team to hold the lead for a lengthy stretch in the season series.

“After you score, the next two minutes are the most important to try and lull things down, because you know they’re coming after you,” Sherando coach Pat Anderson said.

Warriors goalkeeper Zach Santmier certainly couldn’t be faulted on Carillo’s shot. He leaped high and to his right, but it was just out of his grasp. When it settled in the net, Carillo’s arms exploded upward and he celebrated wildly to the backdrop of cheering teammates.

“Who knows what would have happened if we wouldn’t have gotten that goal?” James Wood coach Chris Hild said. “Coming off [at halftime] and going back on the field down 1-0, it would have been a completely different game.”

The defenses were even stingier after halftime than they were in the first, which saw the Colonels hold a 6-5 shot advantage.

Sherando’s opportunities were more dangerous, but James Wood goalkeeper Neel Jhaveri (three saves) went to the ground to knock away a skipping liner from Taylor Ruths in the 60th minute, Josh Dennis shot high from the top of the 18 in the 72nd minute, and Pinto headed high off a corner in stoppage time.

The Warriors continued to press for the game-winner in overtime with three shots in the first three minutes, but none threatened the goal.

“In overtime, we were playing smart in the beginning,” O’Connell said. “We were playing balls wide and trying to get it in. We just weren’t able to finish.”

If the Warriors had done that on a more consistent basis, they might have remained within one win of tying Handley for the district lead instead of falling five points behind.

“We needed a little more composure,” Anderson said. “I don’t know if it was Bloom-itis, I’m not sure. We rushed tonight, and we were a little out of control with the ball. We didn’t have any rhythm.”

Anderson did say Thursday’s game should be big for the sophomore forward Pinto, who scored his first goal of the year after being denied on a header earlier in the game by a spectacular reach-back save from Jhaveri.

James Wood can just feel good about itself as a whole going forward. The Colonels were out of sorts without sweeper Cody King in the lineup against Handley because of an injury, and when their key players are healthy and in the right spots, they feel confident.

“You’ve got to be able to step up in big games, and I think we did today and we didn’t against Handley,” Hild said. “Hopefully we learn from these two games, and now we know what kind of intensity it takes to play against these big teams.”

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