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Varsity Soccer vs. Hopkins School

Event Type: Regular
Advantage:Away

Date: September 13, 2017

Result:Loss
Score:0-1

Event Recap:

Varsity Soccer Drops Opener at Hopkins

Salisbury traveled to New Haven on Wednesday afternoon and dropped the season-opener to the Mountain Goats, 1-0. “It was a tough game today,” Head Coach Ben Walsh assessed, after the long trek back to the Hilltop. “With our scrimmage cut short against Canterbury, this felt a bit more like our first scrimmage, though it was, unfortunately, for keeps.”

Walsh handled substitutions, in fact, much as he had in the Canterbury scrimmage, trying his players at different spots. “As a result,” Walsh explained, “we didn't have the organization that we will eventually build between now and mid-season.”

The second-year coach also noted the Knights’ struggles in the summer-like heat. “We are still working on getting into match shape,” he stated, “as the 90 minutes of heat left us lagging a bit towards the end.” 

Despite the circumstances, a number of players impressed Walsh. “Uli Soto played well in the central midfield in his first start as a Knight,” he reflected. “Uli was joined by the ever-hustling Ian Smith,” Walsh continued, speaking of one of several stalwarts he welcomed back from last season.

“Because of uncertainties in the back,” Walsh went on, “Thomas [Yegbor, the leading scorer among returning players] in the back. He and Addi [Teye-Botchway, another veteran] held down the defense, though there were some big scares in the first twenty minutes that saw [goalie] Theo Biddle make a few big stops coming off of his line. Towards the end of the first half we picked it up and had a good chance when Soto slotted a ball across the top of the six, just out of the reach of a sliding Kyle Watson.” 

The second half brought more of the same. With 30 minutes remaining, though, a Hopkins player muscled his way past several Knight defenders and tucked the ball in from the doorstep. “We pushed hard in the final minutes,” Walsh recounted, “having one significant chance where both Thomas and Uli had shots from 6 yards out, but both efforts were stifled some way, somehow by the Hopkins keeper.”

There will be no time to dwell on Wednesday’s loss, as Salisbury returns to the road Saturday for a 4:00 match against Deerfield. “Last year we lost a well-contested game 1-0 to DA,” recalled Walsh, “so we will be looking to get some revenge and turn the boat around.”

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