Nailbiter Ends Season in Loss for Phoenix Boys Varsity Soccer vs Kents Hill 1-2

Hyde School: 1 – Kents Hill: 2

Boys Varsity Soccer traveled to Kents Hill to play the first round of the MAISAD tournament on Wednesday.  The match was played under clear skies and cool late autumn conditions on their turf field.

The Phoenix started strong with a goal in the 3rd minute of play.  Jed Danforth`19 passed the ball to PG Zach Hambleton who drippled into the box on the left side.  He was taken down by a defender and awarded a penalty kick, which he converted.  The game settled in to mostly interrupted play for both teams after that.  Neither team was able to string many passes together or maintain possession for long before the ball transitioned to the opponent.  Hyde strikers Alex Crawley`18 and PG Brandon Nelson had some chances to score, but were unable to find the back of the net.  The defensive unit consisting of Jason Filios`17, PG Dylan Budd, David Hentnick`17 and Scott O’Brien`17 did a nice job of thwarting attacking runs and setting an off-sides trap.  However, the opponent was awarded a free kick just left of the box in the 10th minute.  They scored a pretty goal by crossing it into far post where an offensive player headed it in.  Play remained even for the rest of the half.  Captain keeper Greg Kidger`17 was brilliant in net, making some great saves and distributing the ball to our players.

The second half of play was a bit better from a tactical standpoint.  The Phoenix were able to make more productive attacking threats due to settling the ball down and better passing.    Central midfielders PG Zach Hambleton and Serge Mudogo`18 teamed up with right winger Will Duerr`18 who made some great penetrating runs into the offensive third of the field which resulted in promising crosses in to the box.  Unfortunately, none of these resulted in goals.  In the 86th minute the opponent scored the decisive goal to go up 2-1.

This was a tough way to end the season for us.  We were capable of winning this match, but continued to struggle with finding ways to score.  Though we didn’t advance to the finals, we did have a productive season with a lot to feel good about.  This team is a fine bunch, who had many moments, both individually and collectively, that they should be proud of.  It has been a pleasure to coach them.

-coach Smith