Ravens Soccer Ends Season in a Valiant Effort
The Hillcrest Raven’s 2021 season come to an end in a valiant effort against the #1 ranked, Burlington Notre Dame Nikes in substate action. In their two previous matches, the Raven’s lost by scores of 8-0 and 10-0, so the third meeting offered the opportunity to see how much the team had improved.
Executing the plan nearly to perfection in the first half, the Raven’s plugged up the middle of the field, limiting Notre Dame’s scoring opportunities and more importantly, keeping them off the scoreboard. Notre Dame finally broke through on a counter attack to score 20 minutes into the first half.
The Raven’s continued to play well, limiting Notre Dame’s attack and even creating a couple of offensive chances. The back line of Grant Bender, Aaron Hershberger, and Aidan Yoder did an excellent job of limiting runs into the box, while goalie Aiden Krabill made several key saves, including a one-on-one situation. Midfielders, Dominic Bouse, Jorge Canchola, Collin Miller, Noah Miller and Eli Ours jammed up the middle, while also limiting Notre Dame’s attempts to go wide and send in long crosses. Up front, Will Kolck and John Hughes, along with Johnny Diaz, worked to create offensive pressure while also limiting Notre Dame’s attack out of the back.
As the teams walked off the field at half-time, it might have been difficult to tell who was winning the game, as Notre Dame walked off frustrated with their 1-0 lead, while the Ravens were happy to keep them to one goal.
The second half saw more of the same, as the Ravens continued to frustrate the potent Notre Dame offense. Unfortunately, Dominic Bouse was forced off the field with an injury and soon after, Notre Dame earned a corner kick, which they converted on a beautiful head ball, fourteen minutes into the half. As Hillcrest pushed a player forward in an attempt to find a goal, play opened up and Notre Dame scored off a second corner at the halfway point. Notre Dame finished their scoring on another corner with 11 minutes left in the match.
Hillcrest ends its season at 9-6 and says goodbye to seven seniors. They include one year players, Aaron Hershberger and Aidan Yoder, two year player Johnny Diaz, and four who participated all four years, Dominic Bouse, Will Kolck, John Hughes and Eli Ours. The team improved so much from the beginning of the year, a credit to the players and their desire to improve, along with the work of assistant coaches, Noah Hughes and Ledru Miller.