Dragons battle to draw with Warsaw

Owen Nifong gets control of the ball with a header in action against Warsaw
By: 
Kyle Hilliard
Staff Writer

Normally, most people would consider a tie more of a loss than a win, but in this particular case, it felt much more like a win for the Argos Dragons.
The Dragons were able to come to a 1-1 draw with the Warsaw Tigers at Eugene Snyder field after getting dominated 6-0 by the Tigers last year. The draw definitely feels like a win.

“I go into every game expecting to win, but against a team like Warsaw,” said Argos coach Todd VanDerWeele. “They were good last year and they have improved since last year, but so have we. I would say they are easily a top 10 team in 3A. They are solid. They are so good. I’m happy that my boys were able to take that lump, giving up the first goal and not get down, but get the equalizer and continue to keep fighting.”
For the first quarter of the match, both teams were really just feeling each other out and a couple of chances, but were not able to convert. Then in the next 20 minutes, Warsaw was starting to impose their will just a bit, but sophomore keeper Colton Markley was able to keep the Dragons in the match.
To open the second half, Warsaw really turned up the pressure and was able to get chance after chance, but again, Markley was able to come up big when they needed him and made save after save.
“He started all year last year,” said VanDerWeele of his keeper. “He made some fantastic saves toward the end of the season during some key conference games that enabled us to win the conference and some important saves during the sectional. We had two penalty kick shootouts and he was fantastic there. He’s a phenomenal keeper. I wish I could use him in the field, but as good as he plays back there, I leave him back there.”
In the 65th minute of action, the Tigers got a real chance off of a corner kick. A scrum in front of the goal eventually led to the ball squirting out towards the goal, only to ricochet off the post.
The Dragons cleared it momentarily from there, but Warsaw took back possession. They got it wide to junior Blake Burns who, instead of taking the shot, got a crisp pass across the middle to a streaking Jorge Rico who, after many attempts of different versions of this play, finally was able to capitalize and score the first goal of the game.
A few minutes later, the Dragons were awarded a free kick in the attacking third.
Senior Lukas VanDerWeele sent the kick in and junior forward Chino Roque was able to navigate amongst the trees and head the ball home for the equalizer.
“I knew one thing that could be in our favor was trying to get set pieces,” said VanDerWeele. “I have tall center backs, but in this case it was my short forward that scored. We don’t have a good conversion rate on set pieces, at least last year we didn’t, but it just puts pressure on the defense. I knew if we could get in that situation we could give them some fits.”
From there, neither team was able to do anything else, although both had a couple of scoring chances.
Argos was out-shot 8-2 in this game which lends to the fact that in this case, a draw really does feel like a win. After opening the season with a 0-0-1 record, the Dragons will travel to Oak Hill on Saturday.
•Argos 1, Warsaw 1
At Argos
Scoring
Second Half
W – Jorge Rico assist by Blake Burns
A – Chino Roque assist by Lukas VanDerWeele
Shots on Goal: Argos 2, Warsaw 8
Saves: Argos Colton Markley 7, Warsaw Harrison Mevis 1
Corners: Argos 1, Warsaw 5

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