Tigers reach summer soccer quarterfinal
In its regular season summer league finale last week, the Northwestern boys soccer team gave up a goal late in the game and ended up settling for a tie with Upper Perkiomen. Exactly one week later the same two teams met, but this time there was a different result.
Once again the Tigers scored first. This time they were able to hold onto their lead in taking down the Indians 3-0 last Monday evening in the first round of the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League postseason tournament at Lehigh University’s Stabler campus.
Tiger head coach Nate Hunsicker was happy with the way his team responded the second time around, especially with their summer season on the line.
“I thought last week we let that game slip away,” said Hunsicker. “But tonight was different. I was pleased with how we came out and played for the entirety. We came out focused and determined to do better and play a more complete game.
“Despite missing a few key guys, everyone stepped up and did what they are expected to do. We really controlled possession and limited their chances.”
Northwestern went ahead 2-0 in the first half and rode that lead into halftime. Unlike last week the defense was firm throughout and Upper Perk never really tested the goal offensively.
The Tigers received their scoring production from Riley Shafer, Seth Brady and a penalty kick from Jeff Garcia. Goalies Zach Rosamalia and Austin Vogwill combined for the shutout victory.
When that second goal for Northwestern went in, off a precise cross into the 18-yard box and met by the right foot of Brady, the Tigers were determined not to let this two-goal lead evaporate like last week.
“We knew that feeling they had last week and they didn’t want to feel that again,” Hunsicker said. “They really did a good job of getting ahead early and then stepping up defensively to not give in.”
Whether it is during the actual fall season or in summer league games where wins and losses are not viewed in the same light, everyone in the Northwestern program knows what it takes to win big games. The Tigers finished the regular season portion of their summer league schedule 6-1-2, good for first place in Group B. Now they advance to the quarterfinal round to take on defending District 11 Class 4A champion Freedom, the only team to defeat them this season. The two also played to a draw during the fall last year.
“It will be a tough matchup,” said Hunsicker. “But that’s what we want as a group. Games like this will only help to get us better.”