17th-ranked Red Devils saw 2-0 lead evaporate
Jeffersonville saw a 2-0 lead evaporate, and the 17th-ranked Red Devils had to settle for a 2-2 tie with visiting New Albany in boys’ soccer on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs didn’t get that elusive first victory, but it felt like one afterward.
“I was really proud of our guys the way we came back in the second half,” New Albany coach Dutch Vigar said. “I felt like we were capable of doing better, and I told them that at halftime. They weren’t playing up to their abilities. I was very pleased with the way we recovered. It was a very good turnaround.”
Jeffersonville (11-1-3, 4-0-2 Hoosier Hills Conference) broke the ice 10 minutes into the game when Isaiah Salazar fed a perfect long pass forward that freshman Martin Ojeda ran down just in time to beat sliding New Albany goalie Jacob Trulock at the top of the box. The ball sailed into the net for a 1-0 lead.
New Albany (0-8-3, 0-1-3) nearly tied it 15 minutes later when Cristian Angeles hit a long shot that ricocheted off the top bar and hovered in the area before Jeffersonville was finally able to clear it. The 1-0 score held at halftime.
The Red Devils seemed well on their way to victory when Ojeda scored again seven minutes into the second half. This one came on a feed from Leo Puentes, and Ojeda buried it into the left side of the net for a 2-0 lead.
But the Red Devils, who outshot New Albany 13-2 in the first half, seemed to shift into cruise control from there, and New Albany made them pay. With 27 minutes left, Santiago Lazaro scored from a crowd in front of the goal to cut the lead in half.
The Bulldogs bit again with 11 minutes left when Leslie Chu struck from the top of the box for the equalizer. From that point on the home team scrambled to preserve a tie that 20 minutes earlier had seemed unthinkable.
“We walked out here expecting to stand around and win the game,” Jeff coach Carson Webb said. “That’s not going to happen, especially in a rivalry game. They had basically two shots in the second half and scored on both of them.”
The Red Devils dominated play in the first half and for a good part of the second, as the ball rarely left the New Albany side of the field. But they just couldn’t capitalize, and it came back to haunt them against a team with nothing to lose.
“We just couldn’t finish, and that’s what happens,” Webb said. “I’m proud of our seniors for what they’ve done to this point, and Ojeda scoring those two goals as a freshman, that gives us a lot of promise down the road.”