NEWBERRY — The Buford boys soccer team brought an 8-8 record to Mike Ware Field on Tuesday night to face the 13-3 Bulldogs in the opening round of the playoffs.
The game turned out to be the best scoring distribution for the Newberry offense this year, with seven different Bulldogs finding the net.
The Yellow Jackets gave the ‘Dogs a scare in the first minute as they slipped down field on the right for a quick shot near the corner of the box. The shot curved just outside the left post to keep the score at 0-0. It turned out to be their best scoring opportunity of the night, and Newberry was able to control the tempo from there on.
About one minute later, the Bulldogs intercepted a goal kick by heading it back down the middle where Erick Arroyo took it to the net for a 1-0 lead.
With 36:55 remaining, Jose Lozano sent a pass from midfield down the left sideline. It appeared to be going out of bounds, but Jerry Ezesarte chased it down and punched it back across to the middle where a waiting Logan Ransdale struck for a 2-0 Newberry lead.
Throughout the night, the Yellow Jackets worked the ball down the field with nice passing and lobs into the box, but the Bulldog’s quickness allowed them to close the gap and minimize Buford scoring opportunities.
The Newberry defensive line — Ernesto Bautista, Umberto Alvarez and Cesar Sosa — routinely turned the Jackets back or kept pressure on the shooters such that attempts that got past them were easily handled by keeper Alberto Rogdriguez.
With 31:32 left in the half, Arroyo dished over to Ezesarte who struck hard to put the ‘Dogs up 3-0. One minute later, Lozano made a header pass over to Arroyo in the middle. After a few steps, Arroyo sent it back to Lozano who drilled it past the Buford keeper for a 4-0 lead.
With 25:32 left, the Buford keeper sent a long kick down field. A Yellow Jacket midfielder mistimed his jump and his header sent the ball back toward his own goal. Arroyo was able to run it down and maneuver past the remaining defenders. He struck hard from 15 yards out, putting the Bulldogs on top 5-0.
Having scored five goals in 15 minutes, Newberry’s eagerness started to work against them. For the remaining 25 minutes, numerous Bulldog attacks were nullified by offsides calls, and Newberry took the 5-0 lead into the half.
The Yellow Jackets played their best soccer of the night in the first 10 minutes of the second half. With 39:07 left in the game, Buford worked in for an opportunity at the top of the box. The Bulldog defenders closed in to make the Yellow Jacket forward rush his shot and it skied over the goal.
With 31 minutes left, Buford again came close with a hard shot from the left. Rodriguez was able to tip it up, where it hit the crossbar and fell into the box, where the ‘Dog defenders cleared it before the Jackets could follow up.
For the final 30 minutes, the Bulldogs were able to keep mostly on-sides and their quickness, both off and on the ball, opened up multiple scoring opportunities. With 28 minutes remaining, Ransdale was fouled near mid-field. On the resulting free kick, Lozano passed back to Ransdale on the left who then crossed to Rudolfo Sosa on the right. Sosa nailed the shot to make it 6-0.
With 18 minutes left in the game, Joel Alvarez got the ball on the Bulldog side of the field and proceeded down the left-middle past the defenders. The Buford keeper came out of the goal to defend, but just inside the top of the box, Alvarez stuck it past him for a 7-0 lead.
Some 11 minutes later, Joel Alvarez (at this point having shifted to the defensive side of the field) again used his speed to Newberry’s advantage. He worked the ball down field and crossed over to Lozano, who worked through several defenders and dished over to Ransdale on the left.
Ransdale placed the shot past the Jacket goalie for an 8-0 lead. The ‘Dogs final score of the night came with two minutes remaining when Umberto Alvarez, having shifted to offense, took the ball from mid-field all the way to the box and struck gold to make the score 9-0.
The win put the seventh ranked Bulldogs against 1oth ranked Crescent for round two at Mike Ware field on Thursday. Results were not available by press time.