By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
East Fairmont’s boys’ soccer team found itself in unfamiliar territory on Thursday night.
After shutting out each of their last four opponents, the Bees allowed two goals but came from behind to earn a draw against Elkins at East-West Stadium, 2-2.
Levi Perkins and Colin Harvath scored a goal each in the tie.
Coach Fred Roman said that the Bees played below their typical level and that the game was a good test of the team’s resiliency.
“It wasn’t what I would call one of our sharper games. Lots of mistakes made tonight. I can’t understand it,” he said. “But teams will always have those kinds of moments. You just have to fight through them.”
The game started just as most have for the Bees, with an early 1-0 lead. Perkins put East Fairmont ahead in the 15th minute when he split through a pair of defenders and scored in the lower left corner off a cross from Jason Mills.
But the Tigers answered in the 29th minute when Mason Schoonover scored a highlight-reel goal.
The Bees haven’t been scored on often in the recent past. In fact, it was the first time in nearly 350 minutes that the Bees allowed an opponent onto the scoreboard. But in the 55th minute, something even less common happened.
East Fairmont misplayed a ball near the goal and gave Elkins a corner kick. The Tigers pounced on opportunity by scoring to go ahead, 2-1.
“We made a huge mistake in the back,” Roman said. “That gives them a corner. But I was very proud of how the team picked it up and drove on. They never gave up.”
Perkins: “Most teams get down after that first goal, but I think we like to embrace it.”
With time winding down, East Fairmont’s chances began to dwindle. Then in the 70th minute, freshman Lucas Toothman dribbled through the Elkins defenders and crossed the ball to Harvath, who did the rest.
“Toothman made a great pass through the middle, and Colin finished,” Roman said. “I told them how proud I was to see them come back. There are going to be games like this down the road.”
Both teams had a handful of opportunities in the final 10 minutes. But neither team was able to get on the board, as the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
“We played hard. It was a good team effort, but it’s disappointing to get the tie,” Perkins said. “No one wants to tie.”
Roman shared Perkins’ sentiments.
“I would have really liked to have won it,” Roman said. “We took very good control of the game after we got that second goal.”
o o o o o o
In the first game of the evening, East Fairmont’s girls’ soccer team fell to Elkins, 5-0. The Tigers took a 3-0 lead at the half and added two more goals in the 45th minute and then just before the final horn for the victory.
The Bees were without a number of their top players in Breana Wright (knee) and Brooklyn Weaver (ankle). Senior Savanah Christy was also dealing with a foot injury, but played through it.
“I’ve got two senior captains out, and my third is playing on one foot,” coach Mark Harvath said. “That’s the difference.
“The young girls can play, but it’s hard for them to play without leadership on the field. It’s tough to ask kids who don’t have a lot of game experience to go out there and play without the comfort of having someone to turn to to guide them.”
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.