First setback: Warren boys’ soccer team falls 2-0 to Athens

VINCENT – Soccer proved to be a game of inches for Warren High Thursday evening against Athens, as the Warriors had several chances to get on the board against the Bulldogs but came up just short each time and ended up losing 2-0.

“Soccer’s a funny game, you know what I mean?” said Warren head coach Andrew Johnson.

“When it comes down to it, you’ve got to finish your chances. Tonight, Athens finished their chances. It’s just the way the ball bounces.”

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard seven-and-a-half minutes into the game. Victor Davis showed off some excellent ball-handling skills, dribbling through the Warren defense and getting a shot past Warren keeper Tyler Schwendeman to make it a 1-0 Athens lead.

Warren nearly answered just a couple minutes later, but Alex Miller’s shot attempt sailed just over the top of the net.

About 10 minutes after that the Warriors had another close call, as Nathan Robinson’s shot attempt bounced off the right crossbar. The ball was kicked around in front of the net for a few seconds before an Athens defender was finally able to clear it to preserve the lead.

Not a minute later, Miller dribbled up the middle of the field and made a nice pass to Robinson, whose shot hooked to the left.

Later, with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the first half, the roles were reversed, as Robinson got a nice pass up in the air in front of the net, but Miller’s header bounced off the top crossbar and was scooped up by Athens keeper Sam Conrath-Sweeney.

The Bulldogs would take the 1-0 lead into halftime.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Warren threatened again. Robinson dribbled into the right corner and delivered a nice pass into the air towards the goal, but it sailed just over the head of Cole Miller. Had the pass been inches lower, the game likely would have been tied.

Warren had another shot hit off the crossbar later in the half, after a first shot attempt bounced over Conrath-Sweeney’s head.

Later, with 3:31 left in the game, Dylan Rose put one into the back of the net for Athens to deliver the dagger.

Warren continued to battle, but was unable to get on the board as Conrath-Sweeney delivered a clean sheet. He had nine saves in the game, while Schwendeman had four for the Warriors

Warren out-shot Athens 18-5, but the Bulldogs were able to make the most of their limited opportunities.

“We need to keep our composure better,” Johnson said. “You could tell we lost a little bit of composure there when they scored that first goal. Everything was going for us, then they countered and scored.

“You’re going to have that when you only have two seniors. When you have a younger team you’re gonna have some mental lapses. That’s just what that was, but it just can’t happen again.”

It was the first loss of the season for the royal blue and white, which fell to 3-1 on the season.

“It’s just one game,” Johnson said. “It kind of brought us back to reality after that 3-0 start. We need to realize that there’s still some things we need to work on.”

The Warriors will look to bounce back Thursday at Jackson at 7 p.m.