Focus, defense pace Dons
January 12, 2017
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A haze of fog cloaked Manchester Stadium, which challenged the Cathedral Catholic High boys varsity soccer team as it defeated the Bishops School Monday 1-0 after an intense battle.
“Stay focused,” CCHS Head Coach Nate Hetherington shouted to his players.
Throughout the first half, neither team dominated the ball, which was stolen frequently from both sides, leaving both teams thirsting for a goal and without momentum.
In the confusion of fog and unfocused play, CCHS player Rory Link ’17 slammed into teammate Nick Giacalone ’17, causing unwanted commotion, but no serious injury.
Giacalone was the leading player for the Dons, threatening the goal several times and guiding the team with his handiwork.
At one point, Link passed the ball down to teammate Grant Allgood ’17, who attempted to score a goal. However, a Bishops defender slid underneath Allgood to clear the ball, thwarting the Dons scoring opportunity.
Later, after breaking free from several Bishops defenders, CCHS player Travis Schaniel ’17 received a pass from Giacalone and aggressively deposited the ball into the goal to put the Dons on top 1-0.
Schaniel’s goal proved the game winner as Bishops would mount limited scoring opportunities for the rest of the match.
Due to the inclement weather, players from both teams continually tripped over each other, creating jumbled messes of limbs and mistaken moves. The referees shook their heads in disapproval at the shouts for calls against other players.
Once, CCHS player Kane Barton ’18 received a pass from a teammate, and he worked around the goalie in an attempt to score. Before he could shoot, Barton became entangled with the goalie.
The play resulted in a yellow card for Barton.
“I was a little bit upset I got a yellow card,” Barton said.
In another attempt to score, Link stole the ball from a Bishops player, and he raced it down the field. He maneuvered through two Bishops defenders, but was stopped eventually by a third player, dashing the Dons hopes for an insurance goal.
The Dons mounted one last assault as CCHS player Nick Mahmood ’17 broke into a mad dash down the field after a 50-50 ball, racing to catch it only to see the Bishops goalie reach it first.
By the end of the second half, CCHS protected its goal from attacks by Bishops. A final corner kick brought some anticipation as Bishops nearly tied the game, but the CCHS defense prevailed led by Devon Granieri ’17.
“Our biggest impact was defense,” Link said. “We really had a lock down by the end of the game.”