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Christian Paget stands tall in net as Patrick Henry advances to the regional semifinals.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Sometimes the players creating the offense are not the ones named on the scoresheet as goal scorers. Such was the case in Patrick Henry’s 2-1 win over Battlefield in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Region boys soccer tournament on Monday.
Renato Grgic scored the first goal in the 54th minute on a penalty kick, tucking his shot inside the left post to beat goalkeeper Justin Ennis and give the Patriots a lead they would never relinquish.
The penalty was called when junior midfielder Emmanuel Scere juked the defense and made a move on the keeper five yards from the goal, leaving defender Jack Kulick little choice but to trip Scere to prevent an easy score.
Scere and forward Terrance Andrews found themselves breaking to the goal repeatedly in the second half as the easterly wind gusted in a favorable direction for the Patriots.
The first half ended without a goal as the wind favored the Bobcats, but the PH defense prevented the long passes from scoring opportunities.
In the 62nd minute Andrews had his chance after taking a feed from Scere. Andrews booted a hard shot that Ennis was able to knock away, but senior Zach Paget followed the shot and found the ball eight yards in front of a empty net.
“I would have been mad at myself if I had missed that,” Paget said.
“I was expecting Terrance to score that, honestly. I scored before I even realized the ball came to me.”
PH coach Chris Dowdy said following shots is a point of emphasis.
“The goalkeeper made a great save on Terrence, but we talk about not necessarily scoring the first ball, but scoring on the second shot or the third,” Dowdy said. “We tell them you might not be on the first ball but you definitely might be on the second or the third. Zach did a phenomenal job of being in the right place at the right time.”
After the Patriots (12-4-3) took the two-goal lead, the Bobcats turned up the o ffensive pressure. Freshman goalkeeper Christian Paget and the backline of the Patriot defense were tested repeatedly and battled the setting sun.
Battlefield (9-7-3) marked the scoresheet in the 66th minute with a nifty goal by Alfonso Mendez. Christian Paget chased a loose ball high in the box as Mendez tapped an arcing shot high over the keeper that bounced once and rolled into the goal.
Mendez had another great chance with less than two minutes to play, spinning to his left and firing to the open side of the net, but Christian Paget won that duel to cement the win.
Battlefield coach Nate Nemerow said the Mendez’ goal gave his team a lift, but they were not able to use it to their advantage.
“Both keepers played well, and they’re both freshman. There’s a lot of that going around,” Nemerow said.
The Patriots have a regional semifinal against Forest Park tomorrow at home. The winner will earn a berth in the state tournament.
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