Eisenhower tops Jaguar soccer

Ethan Denton
Andover Central soccer head coach Steven Huskey talks to his team at halftime of their match with Goddard-Eisenhower on Thursday at Jaguar Stadium in Andover. Eisenhower won, 3-1.

ANDOVER – Carlos Vidrio netted a hat trick and the visiting Goddard-Eisenhower Tigers came into Jaguar Stadium and surprised the Andover Central Jaguars by a final count of 3-1.

In a game where the Jaguars just couldn’t find a consistent rhythm, Vidrio delivered a pair of goals at the halfway mark of the second half to separate the Tigers after the sides played to a 1-1 draw up to that point. For Eisenhower it was quite the turnaround after losing 5-1 at Andover on Tuesday.

“(Eisenhower) is a very physical team,” Central head coach Steven Huskey said. “We just need to move the ball quicker as a team, instead of holding on to the ball too long.”

Early on neither side could build up much of an attack. But in the 14th minute, after the Jaguars had just begun to press forward, the Tigers were able to gain possession and counter quickly. Vidrio made a long run and fired a shot past Central keeper Brandon Bumgarner to give Eisenhower a 1-0 lead.

The Jaguars would get on the board in the 31st minute in a rather strange sequence.

Central earned a corner kick which was taken by Jared Cromly. The Tigers quickly cleared the ball out over the end line and Cromly set up for another corner. This one took a deflection and a pair of bounces in the penalty area before Grant Davis sent a shot that was saved illegally at the goal line by Isaac Shumaker who knocked the ball away with his hands, much like Uruguay’s Luis Suarez did against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup.

The head referee was prepared to hand out a red card to Shumaker, but after a conference with the near side linesman, it was ruled that the ball had crossed the goal line prior to the handball. Therefore, Davis was credited with the equalizer, thus making the ball dead and the handball was nullified.

Both sides played to a relative stalemate for the rest of the half and well into the second half before Vidrio found himself at a tight angle on the far side. He got off a shot that Bumgarner got a hand to in a diving effort, but the momentum of the shot allowed it to roll just past the goal line before Bumgarner could recover after his initial save attempt. Eisenhower went back ahead 2-1 and the Jaguars were stunned.

Not long after the restart, Bumgarner had to face another attack. He saved an initial shot well, but the ball rebounded right to Vidrio who converted the second shot and all of a sudden it was 3-1.

Central was able to find more chances down the stretch but the Tigers’ defense held firm and prevented any drama in the final minutes.

The loss dropped the Jaguars to 7-7. They have a played a tough schedule but Huskey knows that his team is capable of being better.

“Late in the season we just have to cut the mistakes,” Huskey said. “We’ve been in every game, but it’s small things that kill us. We just have to clean it up and hope the breaks go our way.”

Central gets back to action on their home turf next Tuesday when they will host Valley Center.

Eisenhower 1;2-3

Andover Central 1;0-1

E – 14’ – Carlos Vidrio

C – 31’ – Grant Davis

E – 60’ – Vidrio

E – 61’ – Vidrio