JV Boys’ Soccer: Hugelier’s late header saves boys from opening scare

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After a frustrating 2015 season that included two losses in sudden death over time, the boys’ soccer stars of tomorrow are playing to find success today. Their consistency this season will rely heavily on two things, focus and resilience.
The junior varsity boys kicked off the season against the Richard Montgomery Rockets on Sept. 6, and it was a tale of two halves. The result, a 2-2 draw, gave Coach Kraig Bauer an opportunity to look at this season’s crop of players and see how well they played in a real game situation. “It was a mixed game. In the first half, we played strong, we played our game. [RM] stepped up their game in the second half, and we didn’t answer when we should have,” Bauer said.
The boys started the game with poise, doing their best to move the ball around and look for a break. It finally came when a foul was called inside RM’s 18-yard box, drawing a penalty kick that would be taken by sophomore attacker and co-captain Nick Bonilla. “I knew in my mind that I had to keep calm and just place it, and then, that’s what I did,” Bonilla said.
Bonilla delivered, netting the PK and giving the Patriots a 1-0 lead. The Patriots remained in control for the rest of the half, whereas all RM’s side could muster were desperation long balls, hoping to get past and equalize, but the Patriots’ back line held steady, and took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half, it was the same story. The Patriots were keeping possession and creating chances. It looked as if they would take this game with relative ease, but the Rockets had other plans. A Rocket’s attacker blasted a shot past Patriots sophomore goalkeeper and co-captain Jordan Kirsch-Clemenceau, only to hit the post and bounce around the six-yard box. Players from both sides were circling around, frantically trying to get a foot on it. After about five seconds that seemed to last five minutes, an RM player tapped it into the net, and the game was tied 1-1. “It was just a mental breakdown. [Sophomore center back] Devansh [Mishra] and I didn’t communicate like we should’ve… It shouldn’t happen,” sophomore center back and co-captain Ben Stoller said.
The Patriots began to look out of sync, and around six minutes later, RM scored again, taking a 2-1 lead. For the last 10-15 minutes of the match, neither side was gaining the upper hand. It wasn’t until the dying seconds of the match that the Patriots could spark an equalizer of their own. With 90 seconds left, the ball was lofted into RM’s box and headed into the net by sophomore attacker Viktor Huglier, tying the match 2-2 and creating an uproar from the fans.
The game was headed to overtime, but nothing significant occurred as RM’s goalkeeper went down with a bad head injury, and the referees decided to end the match early.
The boys faced DeMatha on Sept. 9, but the game was played too late to cover in this issue.
While they were potentially robbed of claiming a win against RM, Coach Bauer saw something else to take away from the game. “In the final five minutes, we showed at least the motivation to get back in there, and we tied it up,” he said.
The boys showed two things they had lacked all of last season: focus and resilience.

 

Joe Pohoryles

JV Sports Editor