The Weeki Wachee Boys Varsity Soccer team (2-2-3) tied with the Citrus Hurricanes (2-3-1) late Tuesday evening Dec. 7th. A low-scoring, defensive affair at the Hornets Nest, the match ended unceremoniously in a 1-1 draw.
While the Hurricanes were coming off a 3-1 win at Hernando, Weeki Wachee has been trending a little differently. The count is now at three ties in the last four outings for the team in green and black.
When asked on the team’s game plan against the Hurricanes, Weeki Wachee Head Coach Michael Mullen responded, “To do what we did in practice and pass the ball and move the ball around and stay in our shape, which we did not do tonight.”
A performance that left the Hornets’ head coach visibly frustrated; The game had started with promise. Up until the first-half water break, the home team had dominated both sides of the ball.
Through the first 20 minutes, Weeki Wachee kept the ball on Citrus’ side of the field nearly the whole time and put consistent pressure on the visiting Hurricanes with legitimate scoring opportunities. The Hornets’ control over the first quarter of play was punctuated with a goal by Junior Forward Graham Knoten just before the aforementioned break. Then the fog began to roll in.
As the half wore on, Weeki Wachee continued a high level of defensive play, but the momentum had begun to shift. The ball started spending more time on the Hornets’ side of the field as the clock crept towards halftime. “Yeah, they seemed a little more aggressive I think,” said Mullen. “My boys were the absolute opposite of aggressive, so it helps to make them look more aggressive when all my boys aren’t playing aggressively. So, hard to say. But yeah, I think they saw that we weren’t playing well and they took advantage of it.”
Once the teams switched sides after intermission, the Hurricanes turned up the heat and the Hornets’ defense was bent until it finally broke. About 12 minutes into the second period, Citrus’ Senior Justin Simpson headed the ball over the outstretched hands of the goalkeeper and into the corner of the net. While that was the only goal Mullen’s crew would yield all night, that score, and a volley of other close calls, proved to be enough to flummox the Hornets.
Weeki Wachee will hope to correct these issues in their Thursday night bout with the Lecanto Panthers (3-4-3). Fortunately for the green and black, they were able to rely on their stout defense on Tuesday to keep from adding another loss to their resume.
A pair of dangerous breakaway opportunities in the first half by Senior Smerecki Logan were interrupted by the Hornets’ defenders. The first of these immediately led to a penalty kick by the Hurricanes that skimmed just outside the net. Citrus even managed to get the ball past the goalkeeper on another possession in the second half. However, this play was intercepted by a Weeki Wachee defender to preserve the stalemate.