Scoring three times in the first half proved to be enough for the Borgia soccer Knights to defeat the Washington Blue Jays Saturday night, 3-0.
“It was a very hard-fought game, I thought,” said Borgia Head Coach Grant Kang. “Both sides played with a lot of heart. I thought Washington had a lot of nice chances. If those would have gone in, the score and the result could have been a lot different.”
Washington Head Coach Derek Schriewer saw positives in his team.
“All and all, I was happy with how we played,” Schriewer said. “Other than the first 15 minutes, it was a 1-0 game on a great free kick for a goal. We had our scoring chances, but couldn’t beat their keeper. There’s a lot for us to take away from how we played in the second half.”
Borgia (9-5) got goals from Adam Meyer, Jack Hellebusch and John Mauntel to forge past the visiting Blue Jays (3-14-1).
Meyer opened scoring in the fifth minute on an assist from Ben Kang.
Jack Hellebusch doubled Borgia’s lead in the 13th minute, scoring on a breakaway. Kang again assisted on the goal.
It was Hellebusch’s second breakaway in a short time. He was stopped by Washington goalkeeper Jake Whitworth on the first breakaway.
“We gave up two goals in the first 15 minutes, which was not the way we wanted to start,” Schriewer said. “We had a couple of tactical issues that led them to being wide open on the back post. We talked before the game on how we had to defend Adam Meyer and about four of their other players. We just left them too open to start the game.”
The last goal came on in the closing seconds of the first half as Mauntel lined up to take a free kick from about 45 yards out.
Mauntel launched a shot from the right side which found a spot in the top left corner, making it 3-0.
“The third goal was spectacular because of the distance involved,” Kang said. “That had to be about 48 yards because of the diagonal. Also, it was in the last minute of play. That also made it a very difficult thing right before the half for Washington.”
“Their third goal was an unbelievable strike,” Schriewer said. “Our keeper got his finger tips on it, but couldn’t keep it out.”
Both goalkeepers were called upon to make some big saves. Borgia continued to pressure the Washington net and Whitworth didn’t give up anything beyond the first half goals.
Schriewer said he used Aaron Meyer against Adam Meyer defensively following Adam’s goal.
“Aaron Meyer played an awesome game,” Schriewer said. “I subbed him in after (Adam) Meyer scored and he did a great job defending him. We kept him off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.”
Kang said Washington made good adjustments.
“It seemed that Washington made some great adjustments,” Kang said. “They worked hard to prevent us from rotating the ball from side to side on the back line. They put more pressure on that rotation and that gave them some opportunities in the second half.”
Joe Scheuler was in goal for the Knights and he made 11 saves to preserve the shutout.
“Borgia’s keeper is the best keeper they’ve had in a long time,” said Schriewer. “He robbed us a few times. Justin Schuttenberg had five or six shots on goal and he made a couple of diving saves on them.”
Both teams also rattled the posts and crossbars during the contest.
Kang said having the game on Saturday night added to the atmosphere as a number of spectators were there to support the teams.
“It’s Saturday night and it’s a community game,” Kang said. “People in the community are here and they can easily come to this game. Having this in the evening makes it very well attended.”
The Knights fell to 3-4 in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division after a 3-0 loss to St. Mary’s Monday night.
The Dragons got goals from Stephen Hannibal, Trevor Kaufman and Matt Rapisardo in beating Borgia.
Scheuler was in goal for the Knights. Zach Lauer (50 minutes) and Dominic Sanguinette shared the shutout in goal for the Dragons.
“We had a very unusual game,” Kang said. “We did not help ourselves defensively as we scored two unfortunate own goals in the first half. We appeared to be very flat and tired. In the second half, we made some defensive tactical adjustments and kept the second half scoreless. Our forwards stepped up both defensively and offensively in the second half, and created some very good chances, but we were unable to get the ball into the back of the net.”
Kang indicated Borgia had a higher time of possession and more passes per possession during both halves.