Boys go 1-1 in tourney
The Northwestern boys soccer team was looking for that important confidence-boosting victory heading into Colonial League play.
After tying Pocono Mountain East the day before, the Tigers broke through with two second-half goals by Jihad Hereba and Matt Strickland to edge East Pennsboro, 2-1, last Saturday at Salisbury High School.
It was a different team from a somewhat lackluster first half. Northwestern outshot East Pennsboro and created more chances, but the Tigers were not the ones that found the back of the net. The Panthers scored with about 18 minutes gone in the first half and looked the like team that was going to sneak out the win.
But after a halftime speech from head coach Nate Hunsicker, the Tigers came out playing with more intensity.
"At halftime I lit a fire underneath them and I told them that first half is not how we play," Hunsicker said. "We have much higher goals than the type of soccer that we were playing in the first half. We came out in the second half and I changed the formation. It was a different team. We looked more driven and hungrier. You could tell we weren't satisfied with coming out of here with a defeat today."
Just under 12 minutes into the second half, Hereba followed a shot that was blocked away by the Panthers goalie and tied the score at one. With a little over 10 minutes to play, Strickland put his team ahead for good with a rip into the corner of the goal.
With two games under their belt, Northwestern is looking to begin a tough Colonial League schedule.
"A win and a draw, I was relatively pleased with that," said Hunsicker of the Falcon Invitational outcomes. "I would've enjoyed winning both, but both of these teams are quality opponents from quality leagues. I told the kids it's something to build off of going forward.
"Last year we won our division, made it to leagues, made it to districts, but fell a little short of winning championships. We want to build upon last year's success and take that next leap and hopefully win a district title or at least compete for leagues and districts."