The opening game of the MSL campaign matched our Broncos up against the Hoffman Estates Hawks, as part of the 3rd Annual MSL Showcase at Celtic Park in Palatine. As defending conference champions, we know that everyone in the league to come after us with a little more effort and energy, especially early in the season when everyone is within distance of becoming the top dog themselves. Tonight this was definitely true.
From the opening whistle, Hoffman played a high pressing game, and showed great desire and belief. The first twenty minutes of the match were evenly played, with each team creating a few chances. Hoffman were clearly a much improved side. In the 33rd minute, the defensive pressure of the Hoffman forwards led to a turnover along our back line. Without much hesitation, the Hoffman striker blasted a shot toward the goal. It was struck perfectly. The ball rocketed off of the crossbar and then the far post,and into the net. Our opponents effort and tenacity have given them the 1-0 lead.
The score stayed at 1-0 for the remainder of the opening half. During halftime we discussed a few adjustments and felt more than ready to resume play and get things evened up. We went out and picked our play up a little more, hoping to equalize. Michael Blanke, who had created a couple of chances in the first half, continued to fly about. He ended the night with a game high seven shots, unfortunately though none would find the back of the net. Overall, despite our best efforts, we just couldn’t break through tonight and the game ended with the score still stuck at 1-0 for the Hawks.
Much credit must be given to Hoffman and their new coach Sean Armstrong. Their team came out and worked incredibly hard, executed a solid game plan, and captured the victory.
For us, we will dust ourselves off and look to continue to improve next week when we host the Barrington Classic varsity tournament, before resuming MSL play in 11 days.
HEHS – #7 (UA) — 33rd minute
Shots: BHS 13, HEHS 9
Fouls: BHS 6, HEHS 19
Corner kicks: BHS 4, HEHS 1
Offsides: BHS 0, HEHS 0