Dragons earn ‘gutty’ victory over Fort LeBoeuf
At times, the Warren Dragons looked like the walking wounded in Tuesday’s soccer match against Fort LeBoeuf.
In a performance that could best be described as ‘gutty,’ Caleb Lindell scored a pair of first-half goals and the Dragons (2-1) earned a hard-fought 3-1 win.
“Between cramps, injuries, sickness, it was a good overall performance,” said Warren coach Denny Flatt. “Every time we play Fort LeBoeuf, we know it’s going to be like this. It’s always a battle. It was nice to be on the other side of an ugly game. I was proud of the younger guys who stepped up.”
That group included freshmen Jack Darling, who teamed with Tyler Gustafson and Sean Duckett for a strong back line, as well as Parks Ordiway, who scored off an assist from a sick and banged up Lindell in the second half.
Starting keeper Ian Darling was also banged up with just under nine minutes to play. Alex Ferry came off the bench and was tested within the first 30 seconds. The junior made a couple of key saves to keep the Bison at bay.
“To come in cold like that is tough,” Flatt said. “I give Alex Ferry a lot of credit. He made some big saves there at the end.”
The two teams seemed to be feeling each other out the first 20 minutes, with the only good scoring chances going the way of the Dragons, who finally broke through in the 24th minute when Lindell took a feed from Zane Anderson and beat LeBoeuf keeper Hunter Yaple to get Warren on the board.
Lindell scored his second of the game in the 31st minute to make it 2-0. Dating back to last season, he has scored four goals in his last three games against LeBoeuf.
“We’re not running on all cylinders yet,” Flatt said. “This was a total team win. We had a lot of guys that really stepped up. Just a really gutty performance.”
Brennon McMahon placed a sweet shot from the left side past Darling just less than five minutes into the second half, cutting the lead in half.
After that, the Dragons had four corner kicks in the span of five minutes, but couldn’t get that insurance goal.
That changed with 14:51 remaining the game. Lindell, who had already been hurt and come back into the game with a noticeable limp, played a pass to the freshman Ordiway, who curled a shot in the right corner of the net to make it 3-1.
Moments later, Darling made a big stop to keep it at 3-1, before his injury gave way to Ferry, who kept it that way to the finish.
Lindell, Ryon Flatt and Darling were just a few of the Dragons who went above and beyond at less than 100 percent. And it was the younger players who stepped up and played a significant role in the victory as well.
“The guys played with a lot of heart today,” Flatt said.
The Dragons return to action Thursday at Franklin.
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JV: Warren 1, Fort LeBoeuf 1
The junior varsity match ended in a 1-1 tie.
Corbin Reinard scored the Warren goal with Patrick Hefferen getting the assist.
“The boys are really improving,” Warren assistant coach Chris Darling said. “They’re playing smarter and it’s good to see the practice is paying off.”
Joe Letko and Ethan Best stood out defensively for the Dragons.
“They both had massive games,” Darling said.
Alex Ferry and Will Nebinski each played in net.