Warren Central remains unbeaten in soccer

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Warren Central boys’ soccer team, but instead, the Vikings have designs on breaking into the ranks of the state’s best.

Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over Ridgeland at Viking Stadium keeps the Vikings (6-0-2) unbeaten through the first month of the season.

Warren Central is getting it done behind a strong midfield presence from two more standout foreign exchange students, Oscar Kjellberg of Sweden and Albeto Capeleto of Italy. Their play allows forwards Chandler Bounds and Ahstin Greer to be more aggressive.

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The Vikings used that aggression to score three goals in the first half and then held off a Ridgeland rally in the second half.

WC coach Greg Head was anxious to see how his team would respond after a lengthy Thanksgiving break.

“This was our first game back from Thanksgiving and we’re short on depth. It showed because we got tired at the end,” Head said. “I was happy that we came out so well. Oscar got us two beautiful goals. At 6-0-2, I’m hoping this gets us into the Top 10. We have a win over No. 7 (ranked) Northwest Rankin and now Ridgeland.”

Kjellberg, who is from Gothenberg, gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead six minutes deep into the match. He stole away a Titan pass and with his back to the goal, spun around and delivered a high-arching, 40-yard kick that found the upper right corner of the goal.

“It really surprised their keeper by how much it curved,” Head said.

Kjellberg was not quite as impressed.

“It was a nice shot,” Kjellberg said.

Five minutes later, he got another goal on a close-in shot after an assist by Bounds for a 2-0 lead.

With 16:40 left in the first half, Greer banged in a rebound for a 3-0 lead. Dani McKay got the assist after his shot was stopped and Greer was there for the followup. The shots were two of 10 the Vikings had in the half.

Ridgeland picked up the tempo in the second half. They outshot the Vikings 5-2 in the first 24 minutes of the second half and that led to a goal with 15:22 left when Alexis Alonzo Gayton scored off a free kick assist from Martin Cobb.

Bounds had a good look at goal for WC about two minutes later, but was stopped and Gray Cordes shot wide on another attempt. With under five minutes left, Kjellberg’s header off a corner kick went over the post.

Ridgeland’s last chance to pull closer ended in stoppage time when Tre Talifero was yellow-carded for conduct.

WC finished with 16 shots to Ridgeland’s 12. Viking keeper Baxter Richardson had seven saves.