Ravens Soccer Win Their Home Opener Against the Huskies
The Hillcrest Ravens soccer team stepped onto the soccer field for the first time since 2019, sporting new uniforms and many new faces, playing next to the three returning starters from 2019.
The inexperience showed as Hillcrest gave up two goals in the opening ten minutes of the game, as Highland took advantage of defensive miscues to take a 2-0 lead. The Ravens did not hang their heads, made some adjustments, switched some personnel and settled down to take control of the match. Hillcrest nearly notched its first goal after Johnny Diaz was knocked down in the box, but the subsequent penalty kick was saved by the Highland goalie. Not to be deterred, Diaz made another strong run into the box, held off a defender and passed the ball to Will Kolck, who knocked the ball into the net. The Ravens continued to put pressure on the goal, despite going into the wind and were rewarded for their efforts as John Hughes sent a throw-in into the goalie box where Kolck poked his second goal to even the score.
In the second half with the wind at their backs, the Ravens continued to put pressure on the Highland goal. Nine minutes into the half, John Hughes gathered in a ball that deflected off a Highland defender. Hughes moved by the defender, then curled a shot around the goalie and into the net to take the lead. A few minutes later Noah Miller gained control of the ball near the Hillcrest eighteen, then took off dribbling the opposite direction. Miller ran by two Highland defenders, found open space, then beat a couple more defenders before flicking the ball off his foot into the goal and the 4-2 lead. Kolck picked up the hat trick scoring on an assist from Dominic Bouse with about 5 minutes left in the match.
After a shaky start, the back line led by Eli Ours, along with Grant Bender, Aaron Hershberger and Collin Miller, limited Highlands chances. Those balls which made it through after the first ten minutes were saved by Aiden Krabill who tallied three saves in goal. At midfield, Noah Miller, John Hughes and Dominic Bouse had strong games as they helped control the flow of the game. All those who played in the match in addition to those mentioned, Titus Neuschwander, Isaac Lybeck, Alex Canchola and Gabe Bruns contributed to the team success.
Hillcrest returns to action Thursday, April 15 hosting Burlington Notre Dame.