On a cold, windy, and rainy afternoon, the North Adams boys’ soccer team was in their element as they dispatched the St. Joseph Central Flyers 3-0 in a non-league matchup on Oct. 3.
With many athletes donning long sleeves and skull caps to brave the weather, North Adams Head Coach Ike Wooten said that’s the weather that best benefits his squad.
“The rainy conditions played better towards us because that’s our game plan,” Wooten said. “We whip the ball across the six, things skip and people miss and we’re aggressive and we anticipate that teams are going to miss things here and there. Rainy conditions are in our favor so with October being among us hopefully we continue to get conditions like this.”
Things started off quickly for the Green Devils when senior Aaron Pertuset found his classmate Kaleb Kendall inside the box within the first minute of play before the ball was deflected just past the post for a corner and the Devils did little to keep the pressure off the Flyers from there on.
The opening goal came just a couple minutes later at the 37:17 mark when Kendall found space on the right side of the field and let go a long shot that was placed perfectly over the head of the St. Joseph goalkeeper.
The second goal, which didn’t come until midway through the second half, was a near carbon copy of the Kendall’s when senior Kenny Horsley also placed a shot from the wide area of the field that beat the goalkeeper again.
“[Kendall] hit a hard knuckle that just went in,” Wooten said. “The gameplan is to go down the sideline, get all the way down to the endline and angle it back across the six. And if they shut that down we drop it back, square inside and look for it at the top of the 18. We’ve got the guys who can hit that shot and if they don’t then we’ve got guys who can crash on the rebound.”
The third goal came with about 18 minutes left in the game when junior Ben Figgins hit a cross from the left side that found fellow-junior Patrick England who was surrounded inside the box by two St. Joseph defenders. England was able to get the ball to Pertuset who was inside the box and he was able to slot it home to secure the win for the home team.
“I thought they moved the ball extremely well,” Wooten said. “I think we finally possessed the ball the way we’re capable of doing and continued to bait people in. They just reeled them right into our gameplan and it worked well. We should’ve had a few more goals probably but overall this is a good ball club and we beat them 3-0.”
Wooten was especially pleased to shut out St. Joseph, saying his defensive and midfield players played well together, which went a long way into only allowing a handful of chances for the Flyers.
“We got the shutout which I’m always looking for first and then you put three goals on top of it,” Wooten said. “The games where we give up goals you see a gap between our midfield and our defense and today there was no gap. Our defense played up to the halfline like they’re supposed to and we played “half-court” soccer all day long. When they did pop one in the sweeper did his job and swept up the mess.”
The next matchup for both the North Adams boy’s and girl’s soccer teams is Wednesday, Oct. 7 when they travel to West Union. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.