FAIRFAX - The BFA Fairfax’s boys soccer squad opened up the 2021 season with a 1-0 double overtime loss at the hands of Peoples Academy on Friday afternoon.
After graduating a senior core led by standouts Owen Demar and Issac Decker last year; it’s a new look for BFA on the field this season.
Peoples looked to make that an advantage and put pressure on the Bullets early on. BFA played stout defensively however; keeping most of the play to the outer edges of the field. The few times that Peoples did manage to get looks on goal, Fairfax’s keeper Brandon Gillilan was up to the task. In particular Gillilan made a phenomenal diving save with 8 minutes to go that kept BFA in the game. Gillilan’s play rallied the Bullets and they started pushing play up field; resulting in a chance for Reece Decker that hit the crossbar in the final seconds of the half. The second half of the game stayed tight and despite a few good looks on goal for both teams, the game headed into double overtime.
With 2 minutes remaining before the match ended in a tie, Peoples finally managed to get one past Gillilan on a corner kick to hand Fairfax a loss.
Despite being disappointed with the final score, Bullets’ coach Jake Hubbard acknowledged how the game could have gone either way; “Peoples usually contends in D3, and we didn’t expect to have a 0-0 game; it feels good to play well defensively. We had a free kick inside the box, and we had our opportunities (to score) but we just missed them.
“At times defensively maybe we were a little too direct. It’s the first game of the season and that gives us something to work on; we’ve got time and we’ll figure it out.”
While this may not be the start to the 2021 campaign that the Bullets had hoped for, there are some promising signs for BFA. Fairfax kept the game tight against a top team in the division and Brandon Gillilan was a rock in goal with a 12 save performance. The only thing missing was a few bounces going their way offensively, something the Bullets’ will strive to change in their next outing.