SOCCER: Right place, right time for Varnadore with OT winner for Wolverines
Published 11:47 am Tuesday, September 19, 2023
By Jed Blackwell
Thomas Varnadore cleaned things up.
With Polk County in the first 10-minute overtime period Monday in its home match against R-S Central at Tennant Stadium, Will Garrison played a long ball into the Hilltoppers’ box. The kick sailed past defenders and attackers alike, and couldn’t be collected by the R-S Central keeper, bouncing away in front of the goal.
And Varnadore picked up the trash.
“Picking up the garbage,” Polk County coach George Alley said. “Being the garbage man down there. Will played a driven ball, and did not give him (R-S Central’s keeper) a chance to come out and get it, because he’s really good back there. And Thomas was right there to clean it up.”
The Wolverines (4-3-2, 1-2) dictated play for the most part, particularly in the second half. After a save by Cade Bright just 30 seconds into the half, most of the rest of the second was played in R-S Central’s half of the field. And Polk County had chances – a shot went wide at the 24-minute mark, a corner kick was unsuccessful 10 minutes later, a free kick couldn’t be converted with right around a minute left.
That brought on overtime, and Garrison and Bright’s connection.
The win could prove huge for the Wolverines’ positioning in Mountain Foothills 7 play. R-S Central dropped to 1-4-2, 0-3 with the loss.
“We had a tough three-game stretch with some heavy competition,” Alley said. “We have a four-game stretch coming up where we feel like we can be a little more competitive. This is huge for momentum.
“We’re trying to work on a little more composure when we’ve got the ball, and possessing it a little more, and I thought we did a little bit better today. I didn’t feel like we gave up too many chances for them, even though they played with three forwards and we played with three backs. I felt like we did a good job of controlling them, and they got some good goalkeeping.”