Jamestown boys soccer win over nationally ranked Cox is one of program's biggest
Jamestown High's boys soccer team won't receive a trophy for its 3-2 win over Cox on Wednesday like it did for winning the 2001 and 2008 Group AA state titles. But the win over a Cox team ranked No. 16 nationally is one of the biggest in program history.
Cox is the Big Kahuna of Group AAA soccer, and losses to AA teams even perennially strong ones like Jamestown are unheard of. Cox, the 2009 and '10 AAA state champ, and state semifinalist in '11, waxed eventual AA state semifinalist Jamestown 5-0 a year ago.
"I thought we had the better amount of (attacking) play in the first half, and I thought the guys knew it, too," said Jamestown assistant Austin Culp, who filled in Wednesday with head coach Bobby O'Brien in Central America on personal business. "I told them the first five minutes of the second half were the most important, and if we got a goal in that first five minutes, it dictates the rest of the game."
Hunter Hartnett provided the goal with a header off of Phil Geyer's corner to make it 2-1.
"We needed that early goal to get something started and get some momentum on our side," Hartnett said.
The Eagles used that momentum to carry the play into Cox's end consistently, but it took them until 14 minutes, 14 seconds remained in the second half to tie it. Patrick Kelly's beautiful goal was the equalizer.
After gathering a pass from Dan Geyer on a run down the left side, Kelly froze two Cox defenders by stopping cold after faking a move toward the end-line as if he we going to cross into the goal box. Instead, he cut back and right-footed a shot into the upper right corner of the goal to tie the game at 2-all.
"Austin (Culp) had told me I needed to test the keeper from far out," Kelly said. "So when I got the ball I faked and took the shot."
By now, Jamestown's momentum and control of the game was undeniable. The Eagles punctuated it with Jon Cullom's header off of a Hartnett cross to take a 3-2 lead with four minutes remaining in the game.
"The whole game was based on group effort, but I got a beautiful cross from Hunter," Cullom said. "I stepped between two defenders and hit it as hard and as low as I could.
"When the ball went under the keeper it was the best feeling in the world."
That's understandable. The victory was Jamestown's first ever over Cox.
"They're number 16 in the country, so this gives us a huge boost," Harnett said. "It also sets a high standard for us for the rest of the season."