Oakland, Riverdale soccer play to draw

Oakland, Riverdale soccer play to draw

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Oakland, Riverdale soccer play to draw

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Oakland's Clement Ndaizeye, left, and Riverdale's Kyle Bennett chase the ball in the first half in Thursday’s 1-1 tie at Oakland.

Oakland’s Clement Ndaizeye, left, and Riverdale’s Kyle Bennett chase the ball in the first half in Thursday’s 1-1 tie at Oakland.

The goal wasn’t to end in a tie.

However, it may have been what Riverdale’s boys soccer team needed.

The Warriors, who entered Thursday night’s District 7-AAA game at Ray Hughes Stadium winless in league play, tied Oakland 1-1 with a late second-half goal.

Ty Wolfenbarger’s goal in the 71st minute answered Oakland’s first-half goal by Nico Hamm.

“That’s huge, getting the tie,” Riverdale defender Kyle Bennett said. “From a mentality standpoint, going 0-3 in district … 0-2-1 is a lot better.

“We’ve got a young team this year. This keeps the guys’ confidence up. We wanted that bad. At least we came out with a point (in the standings). I think it sends a message to the rest of the teams in the district that we are not going to just lay down.”

Wolfenbarger’s goal came off a set piece. A teammate hammered a shot at keeper Jakob Hurst, but it nailed the goalpost and ricocheted back to Wolfenbarger who finished off the play.

“They are well-coached, they are organized, they are hard to beat,” Oakland coach Jeff Boynton said. “They got a goal off a set piece.

“In district, every game is going to be like this for the most part. It’s Oakland versus Riverdale. You know it’s going to be a good game.”

Oakland (6-0-3, 1-0-1 in 7-AAA) had a shot at a goal midway through the second half, but John Ingrum’s header was corralled by goalkeeper Justin Patel. Riverdale (2-3-2, 0-2-1) had a scoring opportunity minutes before the Warriors’ goal, but it went wide of the goal.

“It was a good game, because both teams played hard,” Riverdale coach Ali Arman said. “What I want to see from my players is progression week to week. You can’t go back and play the past games. We can only go forward. I thought we performed well, but I thought we got a little flustered in the second half.”

Boynton said his team must realize the margin for error is slim in league games.

“There is a very thin line between a win and a tie, and a tie and a loss,” Boynton said. “We’ve got to alleviate those differences to win games.”

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the first half on Hamm’s goal. Hamm got the ball after a teammate lofted it over the defense and popped it over a diving Patel for the score.

“The first half was pretty evenly contested,” Boynton said. We talked about switching the ball and attacking their outside backs. Our wing player made a really good play.”

Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or tkreager@dnj.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.

Oakland 1, Riverdale 1

Oakland 1 0 – 1

Riverdale 0 1 – 1

Goals: Oakland: Nico Hamm. Riverdale: Ty Wolfenbarger.

DISTRICT 7-AAA STANDINGS

Standings determined by point system. Teams receive three points per win and one point per loss.

Team

Conf.

All

Stewarts Creek

2-3-0

4-6-0

Siegel

1-0-1

2-2-2

Oakland

1-0-1

6-0-3

Smyrna

1-0-0

5-4-0

Blackman

1-1-0

4-2-0

La Vergne

0-0-1

5-2-1

Riverdale

0-2-1

2-3-2

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