Tyner-Brainerd Soccer Beats Central 4-1
Thursday, April 29, 2021 - by Joseph Dycus
With a half-hour gone by in a scoreless game, the Brainerd-Tyner forward Emmanuel Gonzalez set up for the penalty and decided to go high. His shot was just a little too lofty though, and it plunked off the top crossbar and out of goal. Always persistent, Gonzalez followed up his volley with a lunge forward and a header. That shot seemed to be true, but the unlucky striker’s secondary shot was off as well.
But Gonzalez was able to “redeem” himself less than a minute later when he established position on the following corner kick.
He flashed in front of the defense, held his ground, and flicked his head and powered the ball past the Central keeper. It wasn’t the prettiest game ever played, but at the end of 80 minutes the Brainerd-Tyner soccer team had gone into Harrison TN and ripped a 4-1 win away from the Central Purple Pounders.
Aside from that one goal, neither team did much in the final third after maneuvering well in the midfield. Tyner coach Ellis Wiltshire thought his team overdribbled far too much in that half. Silas Wiltshire and Brian Bernabe sliced through open space, but seemed to hesitate in traffic rather than passing the ball to an open teammate.
“I thought we did overdribble too much today,” coach Wiltshire said. “I saw some mistakes we need to fix and we will do that.”
The Pounders were similar, moving easily until confronted in a crowded box. Purple Pounder winger Luis Francisco was a standout and made several threatening passes and runs into open space. However, their forays into the final third were messy once Tyner’s defense engulfed whatever space the home team had.
“It was competitive all the way to the end, and we could’ve played better,” coach Wiltshire said. “The kids gave it everything they had.”
In the second half, Tyner really took control, even if their best player had to leave midway through. Central mid Gabriel Ramos was a steadying force in the middle, always looking to get the ball forward and making the correct decisions needed to compromise the defense.
“He’s our anchor in the midfield and without him I don’t think our ship goes without him,” coach Wiltshire said. “He’s so solid.”
Bernabe put the Rams up 2-0 when he whipped in a first-touch volley with the back of his foot. It was a spectacular goal and could have buried the Pounders. But the host team did not back down from the challenge, and got a goal back about 20 minutes later. Attacking midfielder Carmelo Villanueva lined up 20 yards from goal and positioned to the left on a free kick. His blast went right into the top corner near the far post, a near-unblockable shot that made the score 2-1.
“It was a really good play, and they caught our goalkeeper off guard,” coach Wiltshire said. “It was a really good shot.”
Tyner could have collapsed without their leader Ramos, but instead they took control in the final ten minutes and picked up two more goals before the final whistle. When Wiltshire got pulled around in the box, Gonzalez converted the ensuing penalty kick. And in the 78th minute, substitute Nacho Villa put himself right in the middle of the scrum and pushed through the fourth score. While the margin of victory indicated a blowout, coach Wiltshire pointed to several areas the team can still improve ahead of their biggest game of the season.
“Considering we have our hardest game of the season coming up against Signal Mountain, we have to work on getting our passing together,” coach Wiltshire said. “And some of our shots, we really took our time taking those, and we need to have a faster trigger on those.”
You can contact the author at Joseph.A.Dycus@gmail.com .