Mallards Return to Winning Ways
BERLIN- Worcester Prep’s men’s varsity soccer team got back on a roll this week, beating Gunston, 5-0, last Friday on Homecoming before a big second-half rally on Tuesday to top visiting Sussex Central, 4-1.
After falling to Delmar last Tuesday for their first loss of the season, the Mallards returned to their winning ways this week. Worcester rolled past Gunston on Homecoming last Friday and poured it on Sussex Central, 4-1, on Tuesday to improve to 9-1-1 on the season.
Worcester and Sussex Central played a back-and-forth contest early on Tuesday with neither team able to break through despite several scoring opportunities. After the first half ended in a 0-0 tie, however, the Mallards began to click on offense and eventually pulled away from Sussex Central.
Sussex Central got on the board first early in the second half when a leaping player converted a corner kick for a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the period. After that, it was all Worcester as the Mallards went on to score four unanswered goals to pull out the win. Just over four minutes into the second half, Worcester’s Michael Dayton-Jones took a perfect feed from Martin Sanchez and fired a shot into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
About two minutes later, Worcester’s Matt Carey broke into the clear near the top of the penalty box and launched a bomb past the diving Sussex Central keeper to put the Mallards on top for good at 2-1. Carey’s goal was set up by crisp passing by Worcester in its offensive end of the field, which became the hallmark for the Mallards’ offense in the second half.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of Worcester for a long time in the second half as both teams had opportunities but neither could convert them. Sussex Central had a great opportunity to tie the game with about 15 minutes left when a Mallard defender was issued a yellow card for a hard foul just outside the penalty box. On the ensuing indirect penalty kick, Sussex Central lofted the ball in front of the Mallard goal and followed with a high shot, but Worcester goalie Alex Ternahan punched the ball over the cross bar to keep the score at 2-1.
Worcester added some insurance goals late in the game to hold on for the 4-1 win. With just over four minutes left, Sanchez had a break away setting up a one-on-one with the Sussex Central keeper, who came out and made a hard foul on Sanchez in an effort to break up what looked like a certain goal.
Worcester’s Parker McIntosh scooped up the loose ball and fired into the empty net to extend the Mallards’ lead to 3-1 with 4:21 remaining. Finally, with 1:23 left in the game, Worcester’s Mike Mollichelli scored on an unsettled situation in front of the Sussex Central net to settle the contest at 4-1.