Ravens split back-to-back matches with dominating performances
Hillcrest dominated much of the possession on Monday night against Central Lee, but lost in the second overtime period with 1:08 left on the clock. The team generated twenty-eight shots but overall, they struggled with the small field and Central Lee’s strong sweeper and goalie. In the closing minutes of regulation, Jorge Canchola hit the post on a direct kick just outside the box and the rebound shot skimmed the post before bouncing out of bounds. Later, Eli Ours headed a ball off a corner kick that hit the crossbar. The Hillcrest defensive unit continued to play well, limiting Central Lee’s chances. The winning goal came after Central Lee put a long ball into the box. The ball bounced oddly and higher than expected, just eluding the hands of goalie Aiden Krabill and finding the head of a Central Lee player.
For the second consecutive night, the Hillcrest Ravens soccer team clambered onto the bus and headed south on 218, this time to take on the Danville Bears. The early parts of the game saw both teams create several chances and both teams making adjustments to try to find a way to score. Goalie Aiden Krabill made three crucial saves in the first half, one a full diving effort to gather to smother a strong shot. The back line of Grant Bender, Aaron Hershberger and Aidan Yoder did an excellent job of dealing with some of the Danville long balls and crosses. Midfielder Dominic Bouse helped defensively by limiting the touches of one of Danville’s key players. As the half wore down, Hillcrest shifted Jorge Canchola to the wing and moved John Hughes to the middle. The move paid off as Hughes gathered in the ball, beat a defender, then sent the ball across the box where Canchola calmly turned the ball into the net and by the goalie with 4 minutes left in the half.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Danville was awarded a penalty kick which they converted, despite the best efforts of Krabill in goal. Hillcrest continued to create chances as Noah Miller, Eli Ours, and Andrew Starr began to establish some control in the middle, helping the back line to snuff out Danville’s attempts to go forward. With fifteen minutes left in the second half, Hillcrest earned a corner kick. Canchola put the ball into the box only to see it batted around before it bounced out to Eli Ours who hammered his shot from from 20-25 yards out through a crowd and into the net for the 2-1 lead. Hillcrest continued to create chances as the defenders continued to play good defense as Danville kept pushing forward. Goalie Aiden Krabill ended the night with 6 saves.
Hillcrest moves to 5-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play. Hillcrest returns to action Friday evening, playing Columbus at Mediapolis at 7:00 pm as part of the SEISC tournament. The semifinals and final will be held Saturday at Wapello.