The boys soccer team decided they wanted to start working together sooner rather than later by getting an impressive win over Jonesport 3-2 last week. This was a hard fought team win that we earned with our hustle and determination. What was really apparent was the significant improvement from our first game, especially in our communication and team play.
Matt Duddy lofted a direct kick from 40 yards just over the head of the Jonesport goalie with less than two minutes gone in the first half for our first goal. Both teams missed good chances after that, but Jonesport scored on a great shot into the upper corner with three minutes left in the first half.
We battled back and forth in the second half until Noah Davis fought hard to keep the ball alive in the right corner and then he was able to cross a pass to Pat Duddy who drilled it home with 16 minutes left in the half. About seven minutes after that, Paul Zoephal passed ahead to Matt Duddy who once again placed a perfect kick into the Jonesport net for a 3-1 lead.
Then things got pretty hectic. Jonesport slammed a kick off the top post which went straight down and bounced away. We made a great rush, bounced off the corner post, and the rebound was kicked just wide of the net. With six minutes left, Jonesport scored on a penalty kick past the outstretched arms of goalie Ethan Shepard.
We held Jonesport off and even challenged them down at their end to preserve the win. With only two subs on the bench, everyone was tired and sore but our spirits were high after the game. I was impressed by how quickly the new players not only improved their skills but also meshed into their positions on the team.
Ethan Shepard played a superb game in goal, making 21 saves on 25 shots, with many of the saves being hard shots he either caught or deflected. The Jonesport goalie saved 15 of our 20 shots. Our defense was much more cohesive with Cody Eaton making several key stops. The midfielders and forwards worked hard on ball control and passing ahead.
This is just what the doctor ordered and will give us a good shot of confidence to get our season going. To top it off, there are several more players who will be able to join the team soon, giving Coach Bennett Morey a chance to rest more of his players. This week will give us a good benchmark as to our progress as we play a couple of teams that we are evenly matched with and hope to get a win or two.
Unfortunately the girls soccer game with Narraguagus at home was postponed by rain so they had no action this week, though they got the short end of the stick, as the game was rescheduled to be away this Friday, giving them games three days in a row and five games in a week. This will be a tough test, but it will give us a chance to develop our teamwork.