Asbury’s homecoming game was soured considerably after a 3-0 drubbing by the Golden Bears of West Virginia Tech. The Golden Bears’ freshman forward Alex Pastor torched the Eagles on both sides of halftime while on his way to a hat trick in a game that turned out to be very one-sided.
The first real threat of the game came early after an attack from the Bears led to the ball being played into Eagle’s box. A last ditch tackle from sophomore Jarod Rocco prevented a shot from close range that would have caused problems had it come off cleanly.
Pressure continued to build as the Eagles struggled to hold on to the ball in meaningful areas and their defense was left to fend for themselves on multiple occasions as the midfield failed to impose itself onto the game. The central back pairing of Rocco and senior Stephen Mitchell played well together as a unit, but it was a tall order to ask them to play flawlessly for the entire 90 under a constant stream of attacks.
In the 23rd minute, a breakthrough finally arrived for WVT. An Asbury foul nearly 25 yards outside the box was taken quickly and chipped to an unmarked Alex Pastor. Pastor, a native of Alicante, Spain, collected the ball and was able to make a beeline for the goal before slotting the ball to the right of junior goalkeeper John Burns.
Pastor struck again in the 30th minute when cross was floated in from the right hand side and he drifted in, losing his defender along the way, and beat Rocco in the air to head the ball past Burns.
A corner kick proved to be the Eagle’s best chance of entire first half. The ball found freshman Ryan Metcalf at the far post and he was able to play a dangerous ball across the face of the goal that went untouched and out for a goal kick. This was one of the many frustrating points for the Eagles as their attacks lacked any creativity and failed to get the ball in promising positions. More often than not the midfield was completely bypassed as balls were launched forward from the backline in the hope that an Asbury forward could get on the end of it.
The second half showed some signs of change when Asbury did manage to find the feet of senior midfielder Garret Davis who took a few smart touches before pinging a long diagonal ball into the path of Adam Howard. The senior brought the ball down well but his cross was wasted after there was no one in the box to put the ball away.
Just when it looked like the Eagles may have found a way back into the game by winning a corner in the 64th minute, their fortune quickly swung the other way. The ball was cleared up field and eventually found its way to Pastor who raced down the left hand side before tapping the ball over a sliding Burns. From then on it was the Bear’s game. When the final whistle blew it only confirmed what had been an obvious result for the past 25 minutes.
After the game, Burns was obviously disappointed with his team’s performance but did manage to pull out some optimism. “[We struggled with] the simple things, just fundamentals,” he said, before adding, “We looked better collectively than we have before.”
The Eagles travel to the University of Rio Grande in Ohio on Oct. 11.