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Late second half push by Rams not enough in 3-2 loss to Southern Wesleyan

Two players for Bluefield scored for the first time in the 2012 season in the second half

Sports Information Department BC

September 3, 2012

Bluefield College Athletics

Sports Information Department

 

Central, South Carolina- A late second-half onslaught by the Men's Soccer team wasn't enough as the Rams dropped their second loss of the season on the road to Southern Wesleyan 3-2 on Monday afternoon in Central, S.C.

 

Bluefield had a slow start to the match as they found themselves tracking defensively more than they would have liked to. But the Rams had their chances, while the SWU Warriors finally found the back of the net late in the first half. 

 

Scoreless through almost 40 minutes of play, the Warriors tallied in the 39th minute to give the home side a slim 1-0 lead heading into the break. 

 

A quick paced match favored the Rams as Coach Dryer's side uses a large numbers of players in the system to wear teams down late in matches. 

 

Just as in the match before against Chowan, the Rams gave up an early second-half goal allowing the Warriors to take a quick 2-0 lead out of the block. 

 

The Rams quickly responded though just fifty seconds later when the Rams used a sailing ball to the far post to Michael Callaghan, who made a hustling play to track down the ball. He positioned his body to keep the ball in the air and head it back across the six-yard box to the on-running Mouhammed Dieye. Dieye's size helped himself separate from a defender and slam home the header for his first goal of the season.

 

Dieye's goal quickly split the SWU lead in half back to 2-1 with a majority of the second half to play. 

 

While Bluefield was outshot 23-11, many of the shots by Southern Wesleyan were not of too much threat to Bluefield's defense as the shots on goal were at 17-9 in favor of the Warriors. 

 

The Warriors did take advantage of their play at times when they caught Bluefield sleeping down the left flank. SWU's quickness got them in behind Bluefield's back four and a nice individual play by Raphael Fernandes was a result. He made his way down the end line, turned it back and poked a near post shot past the diving Justin Cook who was expecting a far post attempt by the SWU forward. 

 

As the Warriors thought the game was out of reach for Bluefield, the Rams put the Southern States Athletic Conference side under a lot of pressure by pushing two of the midfielders into attacking roles. This worked to plan as Bluefield used their outside midfielders extremely well to create its second goal.

 

Another relentless play by midfielder Michael Callaghan set the play up, as he got wide down the left side of the pitch. He made his way down deep in the final attacking third, sent a low scurrying ball into the box. Sophomore Jacob Mader was able slide himself in behind two defenders and slammed home a one-time finish to make it a 3-2 match with five minutes to play. 

 

The Rams continued to pressure but they couldn't get the equalizer as Southern Wesleyan held off the late push by Bluefield. The result moved SWU to 2-0 on the season, while the setback moved the Rams to 1-2 overall. 

 

There were several firsts for the Rams in the match, as Sophomore Jacob Mader picked up his first start of the regular season after nursing a high ankle sprain for the earlier portion of the season. He returns after leading the team in scoring during his freshman season in 2011. Mader picked up his first goal of the season in the match. 

 

Freshman forward Mouhammed Dieye also picked up his first goal of the season to put the Rams on the scoreboard early in the second half. 

 

Bluefield's Callaghan contributed both assists in the match for the Rams in the loss.

 

The Rams will return to action on Thursday when they play host to nearby rival, Concord University. The Mountain Lions will visit East River for a 7pm matchup against the Rams. 

 

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