Ravens soccer finishes regular season

Ravens soccer finishes regular season

Freshman Seth Ours clears the ball, as freshman Mason Bender looks on. Photo Credit: Norah Yoder/Hillcrest Academy Yearbook

Hillcrest Ravens Soccer SEISC tournament May 13-14, 2022
Hillcrest 2, Central Lee 1

In a quarterfinal match-up, the Ravens traveled to Central Lee and picked up a 2-1 win. It took awhile to adjust to the small field and the long grass, and despite going into the wind the first half, the Ravens were able to control much of the possession. In the compact field, the defensive unit of Bryce Bailey, Mason Bender, Seth Ours, anchored by Grant Bender and with assistance from  Andrew Starr, did an excellent job of defending the many balls sent forward by Central Lee. In the middle, Jorge Canchola, Oscar Flores-Calix, Gabe Bruns, Jesse Blossom and Issac Lybeck were able to establish some control, helping the forwards to push towards the goal, though the Central Lee defense made it hard for the Ravens to mount a sustained attack or to get many clean chances. 

Central Lee got their first scoring chance after being awarded a penalty kick after a handball call against Hillcrest. With Aiden Krabill in goal the team was sure he would make the save, but the Central Lee kicker put the ball over the top of the crossbar. A few minutes later Hillcrest was given a PK after Diego Ramos was pulled down in the box. Unfortunately, the Hillcrest kicker pushed the ball wide of the goal, keeping the score at 0-0. As the first half came to a close, the Ravens found a way to score. After earning a corner kick, Collin Miller put a shot on goal which was deflected to Micah Gerber who sent the ball into the goal for the 1-0 halftime lead. 

In the second half Hillcrest continued to put pressure on the goal but with no success. Fifteen minutes into the half, on a run into the box, Ramos was knocked over,  earning a second PK. This time Ramos took the kick and calmly slotted it by the goalie for the 2-0 lead. 

After the hydration break, Central Lee came out strong attempting to find a way to equalize. The Hillcrest defenders knocked away numerous chances as Central Lee pushed players forward. Awarded a direct kick from about 30 yards out, Central Lee sent the ball into the box where in the ensuing scrum, the ball was headed into the net for the 2-1 final score. 

Hillcrest 0 Burlington Notre Dame 8

In the semi-final, the Ravens faced one of the top teams in 1A soccer. The Nikes of BND showed they deserve their high ranking, establishing control of the possession and creating numerous chances. The Raven defense held strong for about the first fifteen minutes before the Nikes scored. BND added four more goals in the first half for 5-0 half-time score. In the second half, the Ravens allowed three more goals for the 0-8 final score. Burlington Notre Dame went on to win the SEISC tournament championship beating Mediapolis 10-0 in the final. 

After the weekend games, Hillcrest moved to 6-7 overall. 

Hillcrest soccer vs Washington May 16, 2022
Hillcrest 0, Washington 1

The Hillcrest Ravens soccer team dropped a tightly contested match against a strong Washington team in the last regular season contest. The Ravens defense held strong through the first 60 minutes of the match limiting the Demons chances at quality shots. The back line of Bryce Bailey, Mason Bender, Seth Ours and Grant Bender played disciplined defense, while the midfield of Jesse Blossom, Gabe Bruns, Jorge Canchola, and Oscar Flores-Calix dropped back to help as needed. Going into the wind during the defense showed a lot of mental fortitude, backed up by goalie Aiden Krabill who recorded 15 saves on the night.

About halfway through the second half, Washington exploited a gap in the middle and a shot from about 25 yards out found its way into the net. The Ravens created several chances to equalize including an open goal chance in the last two minutes, but the ball scooted just wide of the goal. Hillcrest finished the regular season at 6-8 and 4-4 in the conference.

The Ravens begin district play Thursday against Mid-Prairie in Wellman.