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TVCS, Poca face off in preseason soccer scrimmage

August 18, 2018

Poca High School hosts Teays Valley Christian School for a preseason scrimmage on Tuesday.

POCA — It’s soccer time again, and last Tuesday Poca High School took on Teays Valley Christian School in a scrimmage game at Poca.

This season the home team has several seniors on their squad, and they applied early pressure against a TVCS team that had many of their senior players graduate at the end of last semester.

As early as the second minute Micah Gillespie, in the heart of the TVCS defense, made a timely interception to thwart a strong Poca attack. It was a feat Gillespie was to repeat throughout the game, but despite his efforts Poca opened the scoring after just six minutes.

The scorer was Emilio Celorio, who turned out to be the star player for the home team, rampaging down the left side of the attack before cutting in and sending an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty box into the left corner of the goal.

The goal encouraged Poca, who maintained their pressure only to be stopped frequently by TVCS’s well-worked offside trap.

The Christian school’s forwards were forced to help in midfield and defense and were reduced to staging the occasional counter-attack. It was 20 minutes before they threatened the Poca goal when Misha Saidi met a cross from the left with his head, only to see the effort flash narrowly wide.

A minute later a mistimed tackle by a TVCS player earned him a yellow card, and from the resulting free kick Poca again went onto the attack. Twice in quick succession they gave away free kicks when caught offside, and following the second of these Misha Saidi once again made an attempt on goal, this time with a 25-yard volley that missed to the right of the goal.

From the goal kick Poca surged forward once more and Celerio again eluded the defenders, only to see his shot saved by Steven Stuart in the TVCS goal.

The game was played in three 30-minute sessions, and the second of these was a repeat of the first, with Gillespie and Stuart making tremendous efforts in defense. After six minutes, the home side saw a shot rebound off the crossbar of the goal, but a minute later Celorio again cut in from the left and slotted the ball home in the center of the goal.

Undaunted, TVCS attacked strongly from the kickoff and Triston Yoak intercepted a pass to run at the Poca goal,

only to see his shot skim the right-hand goal post, while Cole Young saw a similar effort saved by Alex Francis, the Poca keeper. Young had a free kick cleared seconds later, and then the play moved to the other end of the field where Poca forced a corner. The kick was taken quickly and, after a scramble in the goalmouth, Tommy Payne of Poca seemed to miss a shot, which trickled past a number of players and into the corner of the net, making the score 3-0 to Poca.

The game was end to end and TVCS staged several attacks, but their shots either narrowly missed or were saved by Francis in the Poca goal. Then it was all over as Celorio struck twice in two minutes for Poca, again with shots from the left side of the box.

TVCS attacked strongly in the third session, with Saidi, Young and Yoak all having shots saved or off target.

With just 10 minutes to go, Poca added a sixth goal when Parker Samples turned a corner kick in at the near post. Three minutes later TVCS’s efforts were rewarded when Cole Young sent a corner kick into the Poca penalty area and Sydney Schliesser shot on the turn. The Poca keeper blocked her shot, but Schliesser seized the rebound and slid the ball across for Saidi to poke it home.

The final score was 6-1 to Poca, who was the stronger team of the night. Celorio was the star player, but the score line did not reflect the effort put in by TVCS and, on another day, it might have been much closer.

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