BETHESDA – The Winston Churchill Bulldogs defeated the Walter Johnson Wildcats boys varsity soccer team 1-0 Monday evening.
Both teams began the match searching for a goal, exchanging opportunities at each end of the field. The Bulldogs would open the scoring in the first half and remain organized to preserve their lead until the final whistle.
“I think in the second half we were fortunate to come away with a win, I thought they outplayed us,” said Churchill coach Arnold Tarzy. “We got what we expected out of Walter Johnson, they’re always a difficult opponent.”
In the first half, the Bulldogs pressed early and created opportunities but did not find the breakthough. Churchill junior midfielder Jack Yoon found himself unmarked with a clear opportunity, but his shot went over the bar.
Looking to settle into the match, the Wildcats were unable to find and use opportunities of their own. WJ senior midfielder Matther Kehrl’s midfield passes went unanswered as the Churchill backline remained organized and marked their opponents.
The Bulldogs found the breakthrough after 28 minutes in the first half when senior forward Darius Siahpoosh picked up a cross to send a powerful shot past Wildcats senior goalkeeper Jake Steinburg.
“It was just a hard-fought team win, we defended well,” Siahpoosh said. “They’re probably the best defense we’ve played all season, it’s hard to break them down in general,” he added.
Walter Johnson pressed for the equalizer during the second half. The Wildcats’ opportunity occurred with a minute left when senior midfielder Eli Early’s shot on an unguarded goal, but the Churchill defense cleared it.
“We got unlucky, it [the equalizing goal] was there a few times, and we’re just unlucky,” said senior forward Max Yodice.
“I felt we competed for the full eighty minutes, we played with intensity, urgency, and passion,” said Walter Johnson coach Hector Morales Jr. “It was a very good Churchill team, but we couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes.”