After a sluggish first half where both teams struggled to get off shots, the Oak Ridge Trojan soccer squad came back from a second-half deficit Monday to pull off a late 2-1 win, improving its record to 1-2 on the young season.
Defense dictated the whole first half with just four shots overall. Oak Ridge had the first chance in the 10th minute but a Ahmed Abdalla header sailed just wide of the net.
Neither team mustered much until the 26th minute when Cameron Perkins separated from his defender and placed a booming shot on goal that Cordova goalie Nigel Robinson barely deflected out-of-bounds.
The Lancers put a shot on goal in the 32th minute but Oak Ridge goalie Tanner Rosenbaum made the save to preserve the deadlock. Oak Ridge had a shot to take the lead near the end of the half but Jack Vorster couldn’t capitalize and the teams went into halftime scoreless.
Three minutes into the second half, Levon Hayroyan scored to give Cordova the lead after receiving a Erick Jarquin pass. Jarquin had drawn a double team but found Hayroyan who powered a shot past new goalie Connor Hayes. Despite that setback, Hayes still managed to make key saves to keep Oak Ridge within striking distance.
In the 57th minute, Oak Ridge pulled even as Doug James beat two Cordova defenders and scored past Robinson for the equalizer.
“We had a real sense of urgency after their first goal. We really wanted to win, and knew we had to score twice to get that win,” James said.
The Trojans scored that second goal in the 65th minute and it was James that recorded it. After a pass from Perkins led him too much, James beat Robinson to the ball and carved a rainbow shot over the keeper’s head that bounced into the back of the net to give Oak Ridge the lead.
“After we got that first goal, we tried that much harder to get the second one,” James said.
Protecting the lead with 15 minutes left, Hayes stepped up. He managed to snuff out a corner kick and late, stopped two strong shots on goal to preserve the win.