MOUNT VERNON — It’s been said that a tie is like kissing your sister. But for Mount Vernon soccer coach Scott Dapprich, Saturday’s 2-2 tie with Bishop Watterson was so much more than that.
Dapprich found out a lot about his team Saturday as they fought an intense battle with the Eagles, bouncing back from one-goal deficits twice to pull out the tie.
“It was an intense game, and it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted. But I will say this, it showed the character of our kids,” Dapprich said. “I found out more about our team for this year.”
The Yellow Jackets (1-0-1) had several opportunities in the first half, but weren’t able to capitalize. Then, about midway through the 40-minute period, Watterson put one on the board when Sebastian Bohorquez scored from just outside the far-left corner of the penalty box.
Watterson keeper Brian Raderstorf was busy on the day, but was able to keep the Jackets out of the net in the first half on some nifty saves.
“I’ll give credit to their keeper. We had 15 shots on goal and he had 13 saves. That means we’re putting the ball on the net. Their keeper came up with some pretty good saves,” Dapprich said. “Our guys were a little frustrated in the first half. We didn’t settle in and maybe that’s something that I need to do a little different. So I’m going to take the blame on that one.”
Mount Vernon finally got on the board midway through the second half when Justin Furey found Brian Boutin with a nice crossing pass in front of the goal. Boutin booted it past Raderstorf and the game was knotted at one.
But, that tie would be short lived as Watterson’s Ben Schlater found the net just a little more than a minute later.
The Jackets could have folded at that point, but did not, tying the game back up when Brandyn McQuigg beat the keeper with a nice shot in the right corner of the net.
“We got down 1-0 and the kids came back and put one in the goal. Then, they battled back and put one it. At that point and time, a younger team you could see would have folded. We didn’t. We just kept going at it, going at it and going at it,” Dapprich said.
The Jackets really stepped up the intensity in the second half, controlling the ball nearly 80 percent of the time in Watterson’s end of the field. They outshot the Eagles 15-4 on the day and won well more than half of the 50/50 balls.
“In the second half, when we possessed the ball 80 to 85 percent of the time on their end, it was like hey, can we put two of those halves together? Not only would you have 15 shots on goal, you’d probably have at least 25,” Dapprich said. “Certain guys stepped up who I thought would. We let some guys kind just of play through some of their game. Usually we make subs to keep guys fresh. This game I let guys play a lot longer than normal. I did that more in the second half and I think they got into a better flow from the standpoint of playing, getting touches and getting extra runs. I think that was part of the reason we got more possession and buildup in the second half.”
The intensity of the game also showed in the fact three yellow cards were handed out, two to Watterson and one to Mount Vernon.
Chris Omahan and Alex Dunnavant combined for two saves in goal for Mount Vernon.
Dapprich is hoping this intense battle early in the season will help the Jackets as they enter play in the Ohio Capital Conference. The Jackets will travel to Olentangy on Tuesday.
“The kids played hard. They’re (Watterson) a tough team. I know they have a player going D1 to the University of Massachusetts. They’ve got some very nice players,” Dapprich said. “They play hard, they play aggressive. Once again, our kids responded right back to them. They weren’t going to back down. You could tell when we were finished, they had that frustration look they weren’t satisfied. As a coach that says a lot to me, knowing later down the road, ‘OK, we’ve had a game like that’ early on. That’s only going to help us in conference. We’re going to play teams like this in the conference.
“I expect a very good game Tuesday. The kids have been chomping at the bit to get into OCC as well. I think this was a good game for us leading into that game.”
The Mount Vernon junior varsity team also played Watterson to a tie, albeit a scoreless one. The Jackets had two shots on goal, both by Seth Badger, but weren’t able to find the net. Chris Omahan and Daniel Baker combined to shut out the Eagles, making three saves.