Rams secure first victory with 88th minute game-winner by Albarran
Bluefield defeats Chowan for the second straight season by a one-goal differential
Sports Information Department BC
August 30, 2012
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Department
A late, gutsy performance by the Men's Soccer team on Thursday helped secure the Rams first victory of the season with a 3-2 win over Chowan University at the East River Soccer Complex in Bluefield.
A game dominated in possession by Bluefield, the Rams struggled at times in the match to combine in their final third to put the game away.
Bluefield couldn't have asked for a better start, as they opened scoring just sixteen seconds into the match when Sophomore Michael Callaghan's free kick found the foot of Freshman midfielder Andres Palacio as the Columbian sneaked into the far post for a sliding punch of the foot into the back of the net giving the Rams a 1-0 lead.
The Rams doubled the score a few minutes later in the 14th minute when Aaron Georgiadas slotted home his first goal of the season to give Bluefield an early 2-0 lead with more than 65 minutes remaining in the match.
Bluefield continued to the pressure the ball, pushing numbers forward and using close to 20 players on their roster to frustrate Chowan with their speed of play.
Nearing the end of the first half, the visiting side would take an even bigger blow to their side when a CU defender landed an obvious kick to Fwd Adam Hern while he was on the ground after a dead ball. The foul earned an automatic ejection resulting in the Hawks having to play with 10-men for the remainder of the match.
The Rams continued to pepper the goal frame outshooting the NCAA Division II side, 23-12, while earning 14 corner kicks to the Hawks 4.
While Chowan played a man down, the resiliency by the away side was respectable. The Hawks came out of the second half gates screaming by tallying to early half goals replicating the Rams from the first 45 minutes. Adam Smith nailed in the first goal in the 46th minute, and five minutes later Jose Oteze equalized the game at 2-2.
Bluefield did give up a few costly counter-attacks to the Hawks, but the second half was in Bluefield's final offensive third for quite a while. The Rams struggled to find seams in the Hawks' backline, but finally found an opening when Forward Erik Albarran snuck inside the 18-yard box with pace but got clipped in the process.
Having scored in his previous match on a penalty kick, Albarran stepped up to take his second attempt. This time, the Chowan goalkeeper made a heroic leaping save to keep the game all square at 2-2.
Albarran's time wasn't over yet though. Bluefield continued to push nine to ten men forward for the final six minutes of play, using a variety of players out wide to create space within a crammed Chowan defense.
In the 88th minute, the Rams would finally break Chowan down. Sophomore defender Cody Snow made good use of an overlapping run and slotted a perfectly-placed pass into space where Albarran was running into. Albarran manuevered his way in past the last defender and finished the play with low driven ball into the far side netting to give Bluefield a 3-2 lead.
The Rams saw the final seconds run out as Bluefield has overcame late-game adversity against Chowan in each of the last two seasons they have played one another. BC has been on the winning end both times in 2-1 and 3-2 victories.
"I must give credit to where it is due," repeated head coach Peter Dryer. "Our team found a way to get it done and get the win. Was it the way we wanted to get the 'W'?. No, But we did it."
Albarran finished with the game-winning goal and an assist to lead the game in points. The Rams saw their two goalkeepers split time in between the posts, as Cook started the game and securing a first half shutout, while Jefferson Watson surrendered two early second half goals to his mark.
Bluefield returns to action on the road on Labor Day when they travel to South Carolina to face Southern Wesleyan on Monday at 5:00pm EST.