Buchholz rides West to win over Eastside

Buchholz's Eric West, right, is congratulated after scoring a goal during a game against Eastside at Citizens' Field in Gainesville on Monday. The Bobcats beat the Rams 3-1.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.

Buchholz coach Andy Aulick said that he was not worried after his team fell behind one goal early in Monday night's rivalry matchup with Eastside.

Eric West, the Bobcats' leading scorer, was definitely a reason why the coach felt at ease.

The senior forward netted a pair of goals and added an assist as Buchholz downed Eastside 3-1 at Citizens Field.

West upped his total to 18 goals and 13 assists as the Bobcats, ranked 23rd in the nation and seventh in the state by MaxPreps, claimed the battle of two of the area's top teams.

“I knew the goal was kind of off something that we gave to them. It was a good finish by them, but I think we kind of let them have it,” Aulick said. “I was proud of Eric West, he wasn't perfect, but he put the goals in at crucial times.

“I am proud of them overall. We played as a team.”

The Rams (18-2-2) grabbed a 1-0 edge in the ninth minute as Alex Fethiere ripped a shot from about 18 yards out on the right side that went through the legs of Bobcats goalkeeper Hunter Patrick.

Paul Lorenzen answered seven minutes later for the Bobcats (11-1-4). West delivered a pass to the freshman in the middle of the field and Lorenzen beat Rams' keeper Cody Peterson from 17 yards away.

In the 29th minute, Peterson (five saves) came out to, and converged with, West on a free ball. West was able to chip it over the keeper's head, track the ball down and head it into the empty net, giving Buchholz a 2-1 edge.

With two minutes before halftime, Diego Fisher raced down the left side and sent a nice cross to the far post, where a wide open West tapped it in for the eventual final margin.

Buchholz out-shot Eastside 8-4 on the night as the teams played a scoreless second half.

The win came just more than 24 hours after Aulick and his wife, Marissa, welcomed their first child, Ariella Grace.

“I was extremely excited last night (Sunday) and would have still been excited had I lost,” Aulick said, “But the win just makes that feel even sweeter.”

Despite the setback, Eastside can build off of the contest heading into next week's District 5-3A tournament.

“There is no doubt that they're the best team we've played,” Eastside coach Ron Messick said. “It gives us the confidence that even though we lost the game we can play with some heavy hitters.”

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