Lynchburg-Clay’s Harrison Burge battles with a player from Western Brown on Monday in non-
conference play. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Lynchburg-Clay’s Harrison Burge battles with a player from Western Brown on Monday in non- conference play. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
DODSONVILLE — Emotions were a tad too high for both the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs and the visiting Western Brown Broncos on Monday night, as LC scored two of their three goals on penalty kicks to eventually win by a 3-1 score.

Though the match was competitive, the play was also physical and the tempers flared up even more with an unofficial total of seven yellow cards handed out for a variety of reasons, including comments made during the non-conference match and physical play.

“It was a good win for us to start off the week, a week where we play two Division I schools,” LC head coach Jason West said. “The physicality is up a notch, and as you could clearly see (Western Brown) had some mature individuals on the field, and kudos to them. They felt they were at a definite disadvantage with the field and conditions, everything, and they kept battling and they gave it their all from start to finish.”

Coach West also spoke about his team “keeping their cool” for the most part in the two-goal win.

“It is something we talk about on a daily basis,” West said. “I understand these young men and at 14-18 years old, at this age a lot of thought has to go into reactionary situations on the field, and I’m super proud of my kids. For most of the time, they make the right decision.”

Even with the game being slowed for all of the stops in play for the yellow cards, the match itself saw the Mustangs score the first goal, and the only goal of the first half, with 20:08 on the clock. Hunter Balon sent the ball past the keeper of the Broncos for the 1-0 Lynchburg-Clay advantage, as that score stood until the halftime break.

Before the halftime, two yellow cards — one for each team — were handed out on the same sequence of events.

The start of the second half had a near goal for the Mustangs, but the defense of the Broncos made a big stop, keeping their team to within a goal of the Mustangs. That defense continued with a quick save by their keeper, leaping to catch the ball and keeping LC from yet another goal opportunity with around 27:11 left in regulation.

Two more yellow cards were handed out at the 19:07 mark, but the competitiveness of the match continued with the Broncos tying the score at 1-1 with 5:11 on the clock with a goal, beating the defense of the Mustangs.

A yellow card on the Broncos was issued with 5:11 left on the clock in the second half, and the Mustangs later regained the lead with a second penalty kick conversion, this one by Landon West with 4:57 on the LC scoreboard.

Less than 30 second slater, the bench of the Broncos had a yellow card go their direction, and though the Broncos were putting offensive pressure on the LC defense, LC keeper Gavin Stroop made a jumping save at the goal, keeping the LC Mustangs in front with the one-goal lead.

The one-goal lead jumped to two goals with 1:53 left on the clock as Trey Pitzer scored a goal. One last yellow card was handed out in the direction of the Broncos with 1:38 left in the match.

“Our guys who scored goals tonight, without their play we don’t win this game,” West said.

Coach West spoke about the defense and their level of play on Monday, as the Division III Mustangs held the Division I Broncos to a single goal in 80 minutes of play.

“Our defense has been our strongest feature in this system,” West said. “We play from the back out, and we rely on heavily on our back line. It’s anchored by Blake Marcelino, he plays our center back and has been team captain for two years. There is not a better kid or a better soccer player in this area.

“I would put him up against anybody, on this field or any other field. Sometimes we have to get on him because he is too passive, but he’s so strong and so good with the ball in front of him and is a dang good player for us. Noah Miller, Jacob Young, Richard Pitzer and Nathan Brown are all a big part of our defense.”

With the loss, the Broncos are now 4-4-2 overall on the season, and in their SBAAC matches they are 1-2-1. The Mustangs are now 6-1-1 overall and 3-0-1 in SHAC games this season.

Next for the Mustangs is an away match Thursday, Sept 19 at Wilmington High School, as the Mustangs will take on the Hurricane in non-conference play at 7 p.m.

“This is a big win for us, and there are some learning points about composure we can take from a positive, and there are some teaching moments where we need to control the pace of the game more than we did tonight,” West said. “We got into a lot of kick and running, and that worked for us tonight, but that’s not our game.”