Final Score: Rockhurst 1, Pembroke 0.
The Rockhurst High School varsity soccer team won its first regular season game Friday night, beating Pembroke Hill by a score of one, nil.
Led by seniors Eric Smith, Ryan Lewis, Jordan Evans, Robert Dewitt and Matthew Martel, the Hawklet starting lineup took the field with energy, ready to open the season. Both teams’ initial passing game was rough around the edges and led to poor possession on both sides of the ball in the opening minutes.
Quickly adjusting, the Hawklets began to dominate possession and seldom found the ball in defensive territory for long. Key to the Hawklets’ early possession control and defensive success was senior Eric Smith, whose presence as a defensive midfielder was often the cause of possession shifts in Rockhurst’s favor.
The half progressed, and Rockhurst’s aggressively offensive approach led to many goal scoring opportunities, but no tangible results on the scoreboard. Rockhurst’s inability to capitalize on Pembroke defensive mistakes resulted in a scoreless first half.
The second half began, and with it came a more aggressive Pembroke offense. Rockhurst sophomore goalie Nick Moyer executed a potentially game changing save ten minutes into the second half.
The fire was not lost for Rockhurst, however, and the Hawklets were finally able to capitalize on an opportunity with 27 minutes left in the half. The goal was scored by junior Alex Siro.
The second half then followed a pattern relatively similar to the first half. Rockhurst consistently maintained possession and accounted for missed scoring opportunities with reliable defense.
Of the 28 shots taken by Rockhurst, 11 were on goal. Only Siro’s shot found the back of the net, but one goal was enough to earn the Hawklets a victory to begin the season.
While Rockhurst’s victory was well-earned, both players and coaches recognize the need for improvement. “We’re still trying to find where players fit,” Mr. Mike Wickenhauser, Assistant Varsity Coach, said. “We did not finish very well, obviously, but the next part is to look and see where we can improve, and each player gave us something to build on.”
The Hawklets play again at home Saturday, August 23, against Columbia Rock Bridge.