WHS boys soccer team wins final regular season game ahead of section play
Trojans will seed on Sunday, begin Section 2AA action on Tuesday
WORTHINGTON -- In their final regular season game of 2022, the Worthington Trojans boys soccer team blanked Fairmont 2-0 at Trojan Field on a cold Thursday evening.
Fall -- and maybe a slight touch of winter -- was in the air.
So was the upcoming Section 2AA tournament, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. The Trojans improved to 14-2 with their shutout of Fairmont (now 7-8-1) and the local squad will surely get a high seed for the sectionals.
But head coach Juan Flores is nervous.
“I’m always nervous when it gets to this point of the season. Because you never know. It’s a one-game season,” he said about the section tourney.
Flores said his Trojans will have to play better than they did on Thursday. Their passing will need to be better, and they’ll have to concentrate better on controlling the tempo.
“I actually didn’t think we played very well tonight,” Flores said. “I thought we possessed the ball, but we’re just missing the last pass. Come playoff time, we’re not going to be able to get away with that.”
Tournament seeding will be on Sunday. Flores said Worthington stands a good chance to get the No. 1 seed but it might be New Prague, which plays a strong regular season schedule. Marshall, which split with WHS during the regular season, will also get a good look.
Worthington’s performance on Thursday was good enough, but not spectacular. Neither team scored in the first half. Worthington got goals by junior Jonathan Banegas and freshman Danny Banegas in the second half, but Fairmont managed to put two or three good shots on goal in the second half that -- fortunately for the home team -- missed the mark.
It was Seniors Night at the home place and a couple of Worthington performers who’d missed time with injuries saw the pitch again. One of them who didn’t was senior goalkeeper Osmin Pineda, but in his place junior Eduardo Dominguez performed well in net.
Offensively, the Trojans saw an excellent opportunity go by the wayside inside the first minute of the first half, as a header only a few feet in front of the Fairmont goal bounced off the right-side post. For most of the half, the ball was played consistently on the Cardinals’ side of the field, however, but it wasn’t until the 15:38 mark that the Trojans received another golden opportunity. The potential goal was missed again when sophomore forward Bayron Echeverria hit another shot off the right goal post.
With 6:37 remaining in the half, three beautiful connecting shots by the Trojans found Jonathan Banegas near the FHS net. He scored it, but it was disallowed due to an off-sides penalty.
With 36:13 to go in the second half, however, the plucky junior put one into the net that counted. Moving right, and aiming left, he trickled one into the left side of the Fairmont goal when goalkeeper Jack Kosbab moved right to follow Banegas’ movement.
Danny Banegas scored the insurance goal with 2:47 to play on a header. Junior midfielder Alan Flores directed the ball to his freshman teammate after Jonathan Benegas sent a long pass to him only a few feet in front of the net.
Fairmont, which made just one shot attempt in the first half, missed an opportunity earlier in the second half when a player whiffed on a free ball about 12 feet in front of the WHS net. Later, another shot grazed the right goal post.
Fairmont 0 0 -- 0
Worthington 0 2 -- 2