Sept. 2, 2006
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Solid defense and a relentless attack was the recipe for victory in West Florida's 3-1 home-opening win against Tampa Friday night at the UWF Soccer complex.
The Argonauts dictated the pace of the entire match hammering 23 shots in the game, 14 on goal, compared to the Spartans 10 shots.
"I thought we controlled the tempo of the game start to finish," said West Florida head coach Bill Elliott. "I thought we did most things better then they did, throughout the game, and the end result showed it."
Although, it was the Spartans who took the 1-0 halftime lead after a pair of Tampa subs created the first goal of the game. Tampa forward Ryan Vetzel was in the right place at the right time to follow up a point blank shot on goal by Carlos Mora, which was deflected by West Florida goalkeeper Juan Garcia.
"We were concerned at halftime," Elliott said. "We were up 14-to-four on shots and down a goal, but our guys kept their composer; they kept working and they didn't panic."
Despite being down West Florida stuck to their game plan and continued to pound the goal with shots. The Argonauts were able to bury their second half opportunities, which swung the momentum in West Florida's favor.
Junior Keith Savage netted his first goal of the season on a picture perfect give-and-go counter attack with Felipe Lawall.
The Argonauts scored again less then 10 minutes later on a penalty kick by Lawall.
Immediately following the penalty kick a red card was given to a Spartan player and West Florida took full advantage scoring their third goal of the half. Jimmy McHenry netted his first goal of the season when he flicked the ball past the Tampa keeper and a defender. The goal was set up on a cross by Zaheer Bell.
"We came out and did the same things we did in the first half and eventually it paid off," Elliott said. "Our last game against Metro State we felt we held the ball too long and tried to get too close to the goal. We were constantly trying to get within eight yards. So, we decided to take some longer shots, try to open things up a little bit, make the defense step out so we could get behind them and I think that is what happened tonight."
The Argonauts are now 2-0-1 in their last three meetings against their Sunshine State rivals, who are 8-2-1 against West Florida all time.
"I think tonight it was a team effort," Elliott said. "Everybody came out tonight and played their role. Everyone knew their role, they stuck to their task and it was a good result. It was a really good win tonight."
West Florida will complete the weekend home stand against Saint Leo on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.