For a moment, Pat Anderson thought his team had solved the problem.
After 233 minutes of play - some 2.5 games worth - of failing to score from the field (i.e., not on a set play such as a penalty kick and the like), Anderson's Jayhawks finally broke through with a tally off a corner kick to break a scoreless tie early in their battle with visiting Alfred State College.
Unfortunately, the goal didn't turn out to be quite the problem solver Anderson had hoped for. And rather than opening up the floodgates, Jamestown wouldn't score again over the final 75 minutes of play.
Jamestown Community College’s Jason Pembridge tosses a throw-in during Wednesday’s NJCAA?Region 3 Division III?soccer game against Alfred State. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J?photo by Rob Tucker
Alfred State, a four-year school, meanwhile, had no such issues, taking advantage of a pair of rare JCC defensive mistakes late in the opening half to secure the 2-1 NJCAA?Region 3 Division III victory Wednesday afternoon.
The Jayhawks' "scoreless from the field" streak - a corner kick is, after all, a set play - is at 308 minutes, and they have now lost two straight to drop their overall record this season to 1-2-1.
"I thought today when we scored one early off the corner that it might be enough to push us over," Anderson said, "but it wasn't quite enough to get us there."
Jamestown had chances, mind you - especially in the second half - to net the equalizer.
At the 72nd-minute mark, Erik Olson attempted to beat Alfred State goalkeeper Nickolas Weir with a low, hard shot, but the freshman netminder, who with the performance earned his first collegiate victory, deflected the shot wide.
Three minutes later Olson made another run, but the leading pass from his teammate was slightly too far ahead and the ball skipped harmlessly into Weir's grasp.
With a little more than 10 minutes to go, Jorge Devon Jimenez laced a shot just wide that resulted in a Jamestown corner kick. On the ensuing corner, Jimenez had another chance, but his header in the box sailed just over the crossbar.
Similar opportunities were had over the last few, urgent minutes - none materialized.
Jamestown, which held Alfred State to just one shot on goal in the second half by virtue of its near constant pressure in the Alfred State defensive zone, outshot the visitors, 15-9.
"I wish I had an answer," Anderson said of the scoring woes, "but we don't have one yet. The last three games we've played some pretty dominating soccer, but at the same time we haven't been able to just finish when we get inside the 18.
"And until that happens we're just not going to be able to get over the hump."
Alfred State, which entering the game was a winless 0-2, got a top-flight performance from midfielder Kyle Jones to get his team over the hump.
Jones first struck in the 39th minute as he buried a rebound (the shot made by teammate Nick Peraino just moments earlier had careened off the crossbar) with no defenders around him to knot the game at 1-1.
Jones, who has scored three of five Alfred State goals this season, then gave the Pioneers the lead for good a little more than five minutes later when he outraced the Jamestown defense following a long pass and maneuvered around Jamestown goalie Tyler Dykstra before knocking the ball into the lower right corner.
"It was just a straight attack on their part where we misjudged the wind," Anderson said. "We also misjudged a little (Jones') speed. We just didn't play intelligent defense for probably a 10- to 15-minute period."
And that was enough, on Wednesday anyway, to sink the Jayhawks.
Jamestown's bright spot came in the 15th minute on the aforementioned corner kick. Olson, a left-footer, curled the corner kick into the area, right at teammate Nolan Farr's head. Farr did the rest, easily redirecting the pass past Weir and into the net for a Jayhawks' lead, 1-0.
The score was Farr's first this season.
Despite the loss, however, Anderson remains pleased with the group's overall play after four games.
"I like how we're playing, I like how we're possessing the ball and I like how we're playing defense - overall - I'm just frustrated by the fact that we can't quite seem to put one in the net to finish it.
"But we're working on it. We'll come back (today) and we'll see if we can work on finishing. I think if we see two, three balls go in the net, they'll start going in pretty regularly (from then on)."
Jamestown can snap the two-game skid on Saturday when it hosts Lorraine CCC at 1 p.m.