2016 St. Thomas Aquinas Boys Soccer

@Kennett 8/26/16

After our longest bus ride of the season we arrived in North Conway. Kennett was a great host supplying us with an extra cooler of water due to the heat.  Their field was in beautiful condition.    After a hard preseason we did have a few players injured.  Eric Lane didn't make the trip due to an MRI appointment and Nick Guilfuchi went with the football team to their scrimmage.  Nick will be doing double duty this season kicking and punting for the football team as a number of past players have done.  Kevin Salagski made the trip but was unable to play due to a nagging injury. 

The Captains won the toss and chose the sun in our keepers face for the first half.  There was a slight breese but not enough to make a difference. Still if it picked up we would have it at our backs in the second half.

Brock Crowley started in net.  The defense in front of him consisted of returning varsity players Josh Gasper and Henry Cronin along with rookies Jack Gallines and Jack Dillow making their first Varsity starts.  The Midfield consisted of three returning varsity palyers Aidan Richard, Anton Rodriquez and Ryan Lancaster along with rookie Cannon Lord.  The starting forwards were returning varsity players Lance Thibodeau and Caleb Williams

The Saints defended the kick off well intercepting at midfield and taking the attack right to the Eagles.  Within the first few minutes St. Thomas tested the Kennet keeper twice.  The Saints moved the ball well with quick one touch passing.  On a pass across the Eagles box a Kennett player stuck his arm up deflecting the ball.  Both teams came to a stop expecting a call for handeling in the box, but the referee didn't see it and Coach Salvacion could be heard from the sidelines in his booming voice "Play the Whistle" prompting both team to quickly return to play.

At 5:30 the Eagles defense sent a clearing ball out over midfield.  They caught the Saints defense up to high and sent their stiker off to the races going in alone on Crowley.  The Saints keeper came out, but the Kennet stiker made a great chip shot putting his team up 1-0 at 5:43.

Player were reminded of Coaches 5 minute rule and picked up their intensity.  Sean Kelly and Cole Marzinzik went in on defense and Aaron Broom entered at midfield with Miguel Diaz at forward.  It was a bit longer than 5 minutes but it took only 7 for the Saints to even the game up.  They had a number of chances but either shot high or missed the last pass.  Finally at 13:30 Rodriguez sent a diagnal pass through to Diaz and he beat the Kennett keeper to tie the game.

Hayden Blaisdell and Angel Kaneb went in at outside midfield.  St. Thomas continued to battle for midfield supremacy Zach Smith also saw his first varsity action.  Crowley made 3 saves in the net while the defense held Kennett and kept most of the play in their half of the field.  The Kennett keeper made 7 saves working to keep his team in the game.

Halftime came with the score tied 1-1

The Saints took the kick in the second half with the wind in their backs and the sun on the eagles net.  After some halftime adjustments the Saints looked strong with quick combination passing.   Rodriguez worked the ball down the side and sent a cross pass to Thibodeau who found the back of the net to put St. Thomas in the lead at 50:12.

The Saints applied pressure on the Eagles.  Williams had a chance on a break but was called offsides.  Diaz had a few more chances but missed wide.  Broom even narrowly missed one.  Thibodeau had the ball in close and sent a pass back to Richard who beat the Kennett keeper to add an insurance goal at 62:20.   

The Eagles continued to play hard and Crowley was forced to make two more saves.  Our defense held strong, Kelly went 1 on 1 with a Kennett player on a break and stripped him of the ball saving a goal scoring opportunity.  When the referee blew the final whistle the Saints had won their season opener 3-1.  Crowley registered 5 saves in net.  St. Thomas put a total of 12 shots on goal.

The Saints host Oyster River on Wednesday in their home opener.


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