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Bayer tested often as Arlington falls
In a tough test against a quick Monroe Tigers team, the Arlington boys soccer club slotted home an early goal before falling 2-1 on March 30.
Goalkeeper Keith Bayer made an array of saves throughout the game to keep the score close, but ultimately could not stop the Monroe attack during some critical defensive breakdowns.
After a passive early game that saw most of the action in the midfield, Arlington sprung a quick counterattack on Monroe and Josh Krieg fired home a strike from 25 yards out to open the scoring 18 minutes in. The goal sent shockwaves of energy to the Arlington side, who continued their intense pressure in the waning minutes of the first half.
Unfortunately for Arlington, Monroe caught a break when a twice-headed ball from a corner kick found the back of the Arlington net for a goal to knot the score only moments before halftime.
The Monroe team entered the locker room with momentum on their side and came out feisty to begin the second half. They began to push forward with more regularity and in the 55th minute, an unmarked forward cracked an easy header into the back of the Arlington goal from a crossing ball. The goal put Monroe up 2-1, but woke the spirits of the Arlington players who, for the rest of the game, mounted intense pressure on the Monroe goal. Several shots from distance sailed just over the bar and a breakaway from midfielder Zach Fullwiler nearly produced the equalizer. Fullwilers shot beat the Monroe keeper, only to miss the post by a yard to the right.
In the 74th minute, Arlington caught another bad break after producing what appeared to be the tying goal. On a long chip pass, three Arlington forwards retreated to position themselves to be onsides. Arlington ended up scoring on the play but the linesman signaled to the referee that one of the forwards was in an offside position, squelching the goal. The decision cost Arlington dearly as they could not produce another similar strike. Monroe maintained their 2-1 advantage. In the 75th minute a Garrett Meyer shot from 35 yards out missed wide, Arlingtons last good chance of the match.
Despite the loss, the team played well and produced intense pressure up front. Goalie Keith Bayer anchored his defense and showed that he can make the big save when called upon. Arlington played the match with seven players called up from junior varsity due to spring break conflicts.
Afterwards, coach Mike Gudgeon felt good about the teams performance.
With all the guys I had to call up for this game, and all the guys getting their first varsity experience, I feel very good about the result. We lost, but our young players were not intimidated or overwhelmed facing a full -strength Monroe team.
Arlingtons next game is April 13 versus Oak Harbor.