Arch rivals Winfield High School and Arkansas City High School had a taste of the Cowley Cup with the fútbol version Wednesday afternoon on the pitch at Bulldog Stadium.
If tonight’s football game is anywhere near as much of a battle as Wednesday’s game, fans are in for a treat.
The visiting Vikings jumped out to a five-goal lead Wednesday, but had to stave off a furious comeback before escaping with a 5-4 victory against the Bulldogs.
“It was a fun night of soccer — I think the fans got their money’s worth,” WHS coach Charles Osen said. “I am happy for my guys, coming off a 10-0 loss on Tuesday, to bounce back, play on the road against your rival on a back-to-back, and to come out on top, fantastic.”
The Vikings (1-1) led 2-0 at halftime on goals from freshman Zach Hammar and junior Albert Compala.
Hammar chipped it in from about 10 yards out from the center of the pitch eight minutes before halftime. Compala scored just two minutes later off a corner kick by sophomore Julien Washington.
It stayed that way through the intermission, but Winfield wasted little time out of the break.
Senior Ty Biby scored from about 15 yards out off a feed from Washington less than four minutes into the second half.
Sophomore Kyan Towles made it 5-0 nine minutes later from near the same spot off another assist from Washington.
“When we got our lead to 5-0, obviously we felt good, but we were also quite aware that Ark City missed some first-half opportunities that if they got those chances again, they would start to finish them,” Osen said. “Well, that is just what they did. And they kept battling, kept fighting, and just credit to them and their new coaching staff for continuing to play.”
The Bulldogs (0-1) broke through 25 minutes into the second half on a penalty kick by junior Chris Arcos.
Senior Dilen Gill scored from about 10 yards right of center five minutes later, and Arcos nearly mirrored the shot from left of center three minutes later to make it 5-3.
Junior Leon Mema scored the final goal of the game with about two minutes remaining.
“The last 15 minutes of the game was encouraging,” first-year ACHS coach Andrew Stone said. “My team showed great spirit and determination tonight. At 5-0 down, their heads could have dropped, but once we scored our first goal, we suddenly looked re-energized with confidence, scoring three more goals in the next 10 minutes.”
Sophomore Gabriel dos Santos recorded six saves in goal for Ark City. Senior Victor Peroo stopped five shots for the Vikings.
“It’s tough to lose at home to your local rivals, but ultimately this fine group of young men will learn a lot from a close game like tonight,” Stone said. “Congratulations to the Winfield team and their coaching staff. For me, the telling difference between the two teams on the night was Winfield were much more clinical in front of goal and they really punished us on our defenses lapses.”
The Bulldogs gear up for the Arkansas City Tournament next week.
The round-robin tourney opens at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday with Mulvane facing Coffeyville. The Bulldogs play host to Augusta after the conclusion.
The Vikings take part in the Goddard/Campus Invitational with a first-round match at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Goddard-Eisenhower at Haysville-Campus High School.
Winfield 5, Arkansas City 4
W — Zach Hammar (unassisted), 32:18.
W — Albert Compala (Julien Washington), 34:45.
W — Ty Biby (Washington), 44:18.
W — Kyan Towles (Washington), 53:13.
W — Biby (unassisted), 57:06.
AC — Chris Arcos (penalty kick), 65:46.
AC — Dilen Gill (unassisted), 70:25.
AC — Arcos (unassisted), 73:02.
AC — Leon Mema (Braden Walton), 78:53.
Goalkeepers — Winfield, Victor Peroo (5 saves); Ark City, Gabriel dos Santos (6 saves). Total Shots — Winfield 13, Ark City 13. Corner Kicks — Winfield 3, Ark City 5. Offsides — Winfield 2, Ark City 2. Fouls — Winfield 9, Ark City 7.