Max Wurth sprinted to the end line to hug his goalkeeper.
“That’s huge,” he said.
Andover Central beat Campus 1-0 on Tuesday thanks to the Jaguars’ high-powered counterattacking play and goalkeeper Davis Joseph’s organization out of the back. Last year, Andover Central was the Class 4-1A runner-up, and Campus was the AVCTL I champion, so Tuesday was meaningful.
The Jaguars sent through balls behind the Colts’ defense all night. It seemed a matter of time after junior forward Jadyn Vosser missed a one-on-one wide right.
That moment came with 30 mintues left in the second half. Senior left winger Leyton Harper dumped in a long ball to the right side of the pitch and found senior right winger Marcos Vera Berario in stride. He took a couple of touches and slotted it home to the bottom left.
“I think it comes down to the chemistry,” Vera Berario said. “I gave Leyton a look. He saw me. I looked at the space, and he played a perfect ball.”
The Jaguars’ offense is reloaded in 2018. Having lost a pair of All-AVCTL II forwards off last year’s team, coach Steven Huskey needed to find the next group in line.
With Vosser, Harper and Vera Berario, he has.
“You give me Leyton, Jadyn and Marcos against a back four, it’s a roll of the dice,” Huskey said.
Only about four minutes later though, Central was on its heels - or for Davis, on his toes.
Campus got the ball into the box and were fouled. That sent senior attacking midfielder Erique Holloway to the penalty spot.
He missed wide left.
“You’re always playing the odds,” Joseph said. “And if you give a player of such quality like Erique that chance, he’s going to put it on target the vast majority of the time. I took a guess, dove to right, and we’ll go with that I had it covered.”
Seconds later, Campus earned a corner, and center back Cole Thompson got a clean look at goal with his head. But Vera Berario cleared the ball off the goal line to preserve the advantage.
Central (4-0-1) was coming off a goalless draw against Buhler on Aug. 30. The Jags had five times the shots but couldn’t find the net. And Campus was fresh off a 3-2 win over a solid Maize South bunch.
With the win, Central extends its home winning streak which stretches back to October 2016.
With that counterattack, the Jaguars are capable of popping off at any moment against any team. For defensive-minded players like Joseph and senior midfielder Max Wurth, it’s about keeping solid and watching the “magic.”
“It’s the best seat in the house,” Wurth said. “It’s just nose down, play defense and then enjoy the show.”