'Betsy rallies late for draw

By Allen LaMountain

   GRAY -- After a first half that saw little in the way of offensive production, things got heated up in the later stages as Luke Carrier once again scored a pair of goals -- he was a fingertip away from a hat trick -- and the Elizabethton Cyclones battled from a goal down to tie Daniel Boone 2-2 at Nathan S. Hale Stadium on Thursday.
   'Betsy spotted the Trailblazers a goal early in the second half as Ben Moody took a pass along the home sideline and at about the 15-yard line let fly.
   Moody's high blast floated past Cyclones senior netminder David Poston to give Boone a 1-0 lead.
   "I had a step on the defender," said Moody. "And I knew that if I could get the ball (positioned) on my right foot, that I had a shot. I got the shot and it went in. I think this is the best we have played this season, we had good communication and we played tough."
   The Cyclones didn't wait long to retaliate as Carrier scored off a pass at the mid-field from Lincoln Orellana and beat Boone goalkeeper Justin Miller to his left.
   "That kid is tough," 'Blazers head coach Mark Dugan said of Carrier. "He scored three times on us in a game last year, and there's just no way to keep a scorer like him in check for long."
   The first half saw the Cyclones out-shoot Boone 3-2 in shots on goal, but 'Betsy had many more attempts go wide of the 'Blazer goal.
   EHS had five first half shots go wide right, or over the top bar in a half that saw the Cyclones control the game offensively, but with nothing to show for it.
   It wasn't just the Cyclones, however, that were just a bit off on shots as Boone's Andrew Williams missed wide right on a breakaway.
   "He's our best shooter, and he won't miss a shot like that very often," Dugan said. "I'm sure he would like to have that one back."
   A mistake by the defense cost the Cyclones at the 22-minute mark of the second half as Boone's B.J. Oakes stepped in front of a pass from Poston intended for Alex Fries and Oakes' pop fly settled into the nets to give Boone a 2-1 lead.
   Orellana -- coming nearly all the way across the field -- made a desperate attempt at a sliding tackle, but Oakes got the ball away a split second ahead of him, and with Poston out of the nets, his leaping save attempt was just a fingertip too short.
   "We missed a couple of opportunities, but I thought we finished well when we had the shot," Dugan said. "We didn't get too many of them, but we took advantage of the ones we did get. I thought we played smart and were able to withstand their rallies."
   For the contest, 'Betsy out-shot Boone 11-4, with the Cyclones peppering the 'Blazer nets with eight shots in the second half as EHS controlled the ball for the most part.
   With time getting short, the Cyclones picked up the intensity a notch, and nearly put two goals in the Boone net in the last three minutes.
   The first close call came on another nicely placed corner kick by Tierney, but Boone's Douglas Owens headed the ball out of the 'Blazers goal box, but on the second 'Betsy struck paydirt.
   Tierney's corner kick found Carrier in the goal crease and Carrier's header was the equalizer as EHS once again drew even at 2-2.
   Miller almost sealed his own fate in the last minute of play though, as he place-kicked a ball from the box that was knocked down in front by John David Jativa, who looked for Carrier in the box.
   Carrier, however, didn't quite get enough foot on a low shot that Miller dove to his left for and deflected just wide of the post to preserve the tie as the game ending whistle blew seconds later.
   "Overall today, we played better soccer than in a lot of games we've played," Cyclones head coach Bill McClay said. "We are still trying to figure out why it isn't working for the full game. In some games we start off hot and then back off. We just have to keep playing like we have, but finish it when we have the chance."