Playing against Hersey has historically been a difficult task for our teams. Hersey always puts out a tough, hard working, organized team and this year was no exception. With 4-5 players standing close or above six feet tall (including a goalkeeper who looked every bit of 6′ 2″ tall) they were an imposing bunch who entered the game undefeated, and winners of ten straight contests. We knew we would have to earn whatever we were going to get from this game.
At the opening kickoff, Hersey showed confidence and energy as they forced us back into our own end immediately. A little glimpse of nerves there would be the only ones we would see from our Broncos during the half. The first half was played well by both sides, with each team creating chances, albeit in different manners. Our Broncos were defending well as a team and looking to transition quickly into the attack. Our midfield played superbly, especially in regard to their distribution of balls into the forwards but also when switching play to the weak side midfielder. Gio Guarnero and Kai Sebens were excellent centrally, while senior stalwart Zach Carbonara was his usual self too. Defensively, our game plan of closing space and dictating where Hersey could and could not play on their half worked well for a majority of the half. That didn’t stop Hersey from being dangerous though, with plenty of quality chances coming from free kicks and throw ins. It was an excellent half for both teams.
The lone goal in the match was scored in the 12th minute when sophomore midfielder Michael Blanke sped down the right flank to gather a terrific ball into space from Kai Sebens and then shimmy past one of the Hersey defenders and up to the endline. As Blanke dribbled into the box, he looked up for a target and saw a crashing run from Klaus Pallan. Blanke had no trouble delivering the ball into Pallan, who guided the ball past the Huskies’ goalkeeper and into the back of the net. The great ball from Sebens, terrific take on skills from Blanke and calm finish from Pallan were all clinical pieces of play and it was a terrific goal for our side.
In the second half, the Huskies made a few tactical changes and found a rhythm in their midfield which resulted in more possession than they had enjoyed in the first forty minutes. They continued to be dangerous from set pieces while now also finding some looks from the run of play. Our Broncos defended extremely well, especially in the critical moments where loose balls were dancing in the box, and really each time they needed to. We weathered quite a barrage of pressure from the hosts, but refused to break down. The entire team was committed to defending as a team. We did also manage to create several chances of our own, many coming from the play down our left side, on the feet of Nash Pirie. Caleb Orr played lots of important minutes this evening and should also be credited with stepping in and contributing to our play as well. It was another great half of play from two quality teams.
Congratulations Broncos on a terrific win.
Congratulations Huskies on a terrific match as well.
Pallan, Klaus (Michael Blanke) — 12th minute