In a superb effort, the Fairmont Firebirds defeated highly-ranked Northmont High School 1-0 Tuesday night. The Firebirds took a defensive posture designed to thwart the Northmont attack. The 3-5-2 formation that Fairmont has adopted this season allowed outside midfielders Nick Aregood (JR) and Trent Webb (SO) to shore up the deep flanks and get involved in the attack moving forward. Goalkeeper Seth Tyson (SR) notched his first clean sheet of the season.
The center back trio of Colin Altick (SR), Josue Martinez (SR), and Tyler Adams (SO) proved to be impenetrable as they worked all night to cut out passes and deny space to the Northmont attack. Martinez especially did an outstanding job of anticipating the runs of Northmont’s forwards. Midfielder Sam Fiscus (JR) displayed an impressive work rate in support of the defense, as well as Fairmont’s counter-attacks.
The lone goal of the match came in the 49th minute when pressure from striker Ace Uhrig forced a Northmont turnover from their right back. Uhrig cut inside the box to create space for a Luck Pilote (JR) run down the middle. Uhrig played a square ball to Pilote, who calmly put it past the Thunderbolt keeper. In contrast, the celebration of the goal was completely raucous, with the entire Fairmont squad wrapping arms around each other by the corner flag in anticipation of a victory.
For the remaining 31 minutes of the match, the Thunderbolts pressed hard for an equalizing goal, but Fairmont denied them every time. For as well as Fairmont’s defensive tactics worked, the result of this match was due just as much to the Firebirds’ refusal to be outworked. When a Northmont attacker slipped behind a Firebird defender, the Fairmont defense recovered quickly to close down the attack. Every time the Firebirds cleared the ball upfield, the Fairmont offense was looking to break on the counter.
The Firebirds’ next match is away against a formidable Carroll High School side on Thursday, September 26. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm.