BETHESDA – In a hard-fought encounter at home, the Walt Whitman Vikings defeated the Winston Churchill Bulldogs 2-1 in boys varsity soccer Saturday afternoon.
The Vikings pressed forward early and took a two-goal lead before halftime. During the second half, the Bulldogs managed to narrow the score but were unable to level the match.
“I thought the first half was brilliant, we had numerous chances, we had the run of play,” said Whitman coach Dave Greene. “We did everything we had to do, we scored two goals.”
Whitman began the match with several early chances forcing senior Churchill goalkeeper Joel Assal into action.
Seven minutes in, Vikings junior forward Natan Rosen worked his way past the Churchill backline to shoot into the far corner and give his team the lead.
The Bulldogs pressed forward, looking to equalize.
Churchill senior midfielder Darius Siahpoosh found himself with space inside the Vikings’ box but his shot was cleared off the line.
Midway through the first half, a foul prompted the referee to award a spot kick for the home team. Rosen scored his second goal of the match after calmly putting the ball past Assal.
After the break, the Bulldogs came on looking to cut the Vikings’ lead in half.
Churchill’s efforts paid off when junior midfielder Brian Murphy provided a midfield pass for junior forward Dylan Strother to score from close range.
With the Vikings holding a 2-1 lead, the match began to even out with both teams exchanging goal opportunities.
Vikings’ junior midfielder Jackson Resnick found himself with space behind the Churchill defense but was blocked by Assal.
Siahpoosh was on hand again with a goal opportunity but Whitman senior goalkeeper Sam Nordheimer preserved the home team’s lead, ensuring a victory for the Vikings.
“We started off pretty sluggish today, but I felt in the second half we had the opportunity to equalize and send it overtime,” Siahpoosh said.
“We got balls in behind us a couple of times but I thought in the second half we did better, we didn’t do good, but we did do better,” said Churchill coach Arnold Tarzy. “I think the score was reflecting the result, we were outplayed.”