by Marty Simpkins
WAKE FOREST — Last week, I wrote about how Wakefield’s volleyball team lost to Heritage. This week, I’m writing about the time when Wakefield’s boys soccer team lost to Wake Forest. Sorry Wolverines.
The two rival schools aren’t known much for their soccer battles, but a rivalry is a rivalry.
The match took place Sept. 21, 2015. Wakefield was undefeated in conference play at 2-0 and Wake Forest was winless in conference play at 0-2.
The teams traded goals in the first half, but then Wakefield scored another goal to take a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Wake Forest scored in the second half to tie the game and Wakefield couldn’t generate any offense to break the tie and the match went into overtime.
The Wolverines scored the first goal in overtime, but then Will Rudolph tied the game again for the Cougars.
With the clock ticking down, Wakefield had a chance to go ahead with another goal and then Maurice Shenker-Tauris made contact with a Wake Forest defender and fell down in the penalty box.
According to the rules of soccer, if a defender commits a foul against an attacking player inside the penalty box, the attacking team gets to line up for a penalty kick.
However, the referee did not call a foul and play continued. The Wolverine players were so upset with the call, they complained to the referee during the game while the Wake Forest soccer players kept playing.
While the Wakefield team stood around waiting for the referee to change his mind, Wake Forest’s Zach Engel drove the ball down the field.
Wakefield forgot to get back on defense, since they were still distracted with the call on the field, and Engel had a one-on-one shot with the opponent’s goalkeeper.
With 2:18 left in the first half of overtime, Engel scored his second goal of the game to take the lead. His first shot deflected off Wakefield’s goalkeeper, Taha Mirmozaffari, but the senior captain hustled back to the ball and knocked it in the side of the net for what ended up being the game-winner.
Time ran out and Wake Forest won the game to attain their first conference victory of the season.
I spoke with Wake Forest coach Mike Atkinson after the game and he admitted that the referees missed a foul call on his defender in the penalty box. But I’m sure he’ll take the win instead.
On the other side of the field, Wakefield’s coach C.J. Komons was furious about how the match played out. He didn’t even want to talk about the game afterwards, but who could blame him.
It’s times like these that show that referees are human too. They make mistakes just like everyone else. Unfortunately, this mistake led to Wakefield losing a close match.
But on the other hand, if the players didn’t complain about the call and focused on playing the game, they wouldn’t have given up that overtime goal in the first place.
It goes both ways, but it was the referees’ decision to not call a foul that led to the players’ reaction, which led to the outcome.
Wakefield got their revenge less than a month later by beating Wake Forest 4-2 on the road Oct. 14.
I guess the moral of the story here is never worry about what the referees do; only focus on what you can do as a player and coach.
Sometimes players and coaches let a bad call affect how they act for the rest of the game. It causes them to lose control, like it did for Wakefield’s soccer team.
Wouldn’t it be nice if referees made great calls all the time? That would definitely make life easier.