Plymouth falls 2-0 to Tigers

PLYMOUTH — It wasn’t a win, but there were plenty of positives for Plymouth to take away from its 2-0 loss to Warsaw Thursday, and it was those positives that the Rockies focused on in the huddle after the game.
After giving up a pair of goals in the opening 19 minutes, Plymouth played the Class 2A, No. 3-ranked Tigers to a 0-0 draw for the remaining 60-plus minutes. But the Rockies were unable to mount a real threat against the visitors, and they fell in a 2-0 Northern Lakes Conference-opening loss to Warsaw at Kindt Field.
“The guys when they came off, we were in good spirits,” said Plymouth soccer coach Josh Martin. “We’ve definitely got to work on creating some opportunities, but our main scoring source Cesar Aguilar, he was unavailable; he typically gives us some more pressure up top. So we had some younger guys — Joe Smith, Tim Fonseca — they’re only sophomores, so this speed is kind of new to them.
“We’re going to get back to training and work on hey, once we get that midfield third getting those better killer balls in behind their defense because… we’ve got a lot of tough teams coming in the NLC.”
The Tigers opened the scoring on a clean-up goal in the 8th minute, as Plymouth was unable to clear a ball out of the box, and Nathan Kolbe drove in the failed clear to give the visitors a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Not long after, Warsaw scored the insurance goal when a long ball found its way deep into the Plymouth box and Zach Stone played it off the bounce and into the back of the net in the 19th minute.
In the end it was enough for the win, as Plymouth was unable to muster any shots on goal compared to six by the Tigers.
“We had to play against a team that’s going to have a lion’s share of the possession,” said Martin. “They made us run back and forth across the park and they really tested how well we can keep our team shape, and I think at times, especially when they were playing to feet across the park, we were doing a pretty good job of cluttering the pathway. They still maintained possession, but we kept them out on the flank, made them cross some real difficult balls in.”
Senior goalkeeper Erik Aguilar had a strong night in goal for the Rockies, making four saves, all legitimate and several of the diving variety on close-range shots from the Tigers.
“I’ve got two great goalies — Aguilar and (Zach) Lee are both really terrific,” Martin said. “Erik, that game could have been five, six-nothing. He had a couple point-blank shots right on top of him, and he didn’t give up a lot of spillage, either. He got right on top of them and didn’t give up second shot opportunities.”
While Warsaw remains unbeaten at 4-0, the Rockies slide to an even 1-1-1 with their first loss of the season and an 0-1 conference start.
Plymouth travels to LaPorte Saturday before returning home to host Bremen Tuesday. The Rockies will try to break into the NLC win column as they travel to Goshen next Thursday.
At Plymouth
Nathan Kolbe, 8th minute
Zack Tucker, 19th minute
Shots on: Warsaw 6, Plymouth 0
Saves: Warsaw 0, Plymouth 4 (Erik Aguilar)
Corners: Warsaw 4, Plymouth 0
Record: Plymouth 1-1-1, Warsaw 4-0