POINT PLEASANT, W. Va. — Chip Wood wasn’t exactly what you could call a happy camper.
That’s because his Point Pleasant High School boys soccer squad — given the feel from Tuesday night’s impressive shutout win — gave one away right back.
The Black Knights, according to Wood, played “very undisciplined” on Thursday night — and suffered a 2-1 loss to the visiting Poca Dots inside a steamy Ohio Valley Bank Track & Field in Point Pleasant.
The contest, and ultimate outcome, came only 48 hours after the young Black Knights notched a nice 3-0 blanking of visiting Lincoln County.
Point Pleasant fell to 1-1-0 with the loss, while Poca — after a 2-2 draw against Ravenswood in its opener — raised its record to 1-0-1.
Wood was dismayed by his Black Knights not starting strong — and ongoing lack of communication the entire night.
But he said discipline, or lack thereof, was the primary downfall for his charges against Poca.
“We were very undisciplined all night long — everywhere and all over the field,” said the disappointed coach. “We did not come out to play. We started poorly. There were three or four individuals that really played their hearts out and those kids did not let me down. We were not communicating at all or hooking up at all. It was just a poor performance on our part all night.”
The largest letdown came with 21 minutes and 20 seconds remaining, when the Dots broke the 1-1 tie with Parker Samples’ go-ahead — and eventual game-winning — goal.
Samples stole a Black Knight clear attempt and started to dribble, before passing ahead to Ryne Byrne, who passed back to Samples in front of three Black Knight defenders.
Samples’ short shot towards the lower-left 90 got by Point Pleasant goalkeeper Cole Walker.
“We weren’t proper defensively and we failed to clear the ball, ” said Wood. “We let them settle the ball, and then we’re stabbing at the ball instead of actually maintaining distance between the defender and not letting him get past us. We overplayed the ball and went past, giving them an easy toe-poke goal.”
After that, Poca started to regain most of the offensive possession, as a pair of shots involving Alex Lenkov within two minutes were the Black Knights’ best-equalizing opportunities the rest of the way.
Those came with 14:15 and with under 12 minutes to play, as the Black Knights also couldn’t convert on any of their four corner kicks, including three in the final 30:42 — and the last with a minute-and-a-half left.
Poca senior goalkeeper Tanner Dworsky stepped up to make an in-stride standing save.
“We ended up getting way too spread out and giving them (Dots) lots of space in the end, which gave them lots of time to try to counter-attack and even waste time. We were very undisciplined tonight. That’s the biggest thing,” said Wood. “It was just not our best performance.”
Point Pleasant actually outshot the Dots on goal 12-8, but only got a Lenkov tally with 3:07 remaining before halftime to show for it.
Lenkov ricocheted a shot off the left post with 31:43 remaining in the opening half, as Dworsky made the first of two saves in a matter of two minutes in which he dropped to his knees.
With most of the first half played between the 20-yard lines, and amid exchanges of missed shots and keeper saves, the Dots drew first blood with a goal by Trace Jarrett with 14:55 remaining.
But Point Pleasant picked up the energy and intensity, at least momentarily, tying the match at 1-1 on the Lenkov goal.
Walker was credited with six saves.
The Black Knights will take to the road for the first time this season on Saturday (Aug. 27) when they travel to Ripley.
Kickoff time is set for 10 a.m.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106