The King’s Warriors Soccer Club welcomed Mercer Christian Academy to their Hilldale field on Friday, Sept. 4. The home team looked like they were on their way to their third win after Ailena Bezek redirected a long throw in from Isaac Beckett for the game’s first goal. Chance Blevins extended the lead to 2-0 prior to halftime. However, the defense came out flat and yielded their first goal of the season in just the 3rd minute of the second half. Still in disarray, the defense gave up the tying goal less than 5 minutes later. The team was able to regroup and had the better run of play during most of the rest of the game, but were unable to break the deadlock, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
The King’s Warriors include several Greater Beckley Christian School students this year, and the school has graciously allowed the use of their field for practices and games. With help from family members, the team worked hard to restore the field, converting it to a very nice, though somewhat small, pitch. The IGNITE home school team from Hurricane, WV, came to Beckley on Sept. 12 to help inaugurate the field. INGNITE was fast and physical. They held the edge in the first half, and only several quality saves from goalkeeper Jake Dickens and the support of the whole defense kept the visiting team at bay. With so much pressure, the defense finally sputtered and gave up a goal to be down 1-0 at the half. The team regrouped and made several changes at halftime, and came out fired up. They played much more evenly in the second half, and were rewarded with a goal from Keatley Michael at the end of a goal mouth scramble. With the score knotted at 1-1, the rest of the half was a nail-biting contest that could have gone either way. Both teams had several good opportunities, but INGNITE finally scored what would prove to be the winning goal on a direct free kick. Dickens made a good save initially, but the deflection went to an unmarked player who scored for the 2-1 win. Both teams continued to battle hard to the final whistle, and both could be proud of their efforts. It was the kind of game that everyone could learn and grow from. We look forward to our rematch.