On Tuesday, October the 10th, your Manteo Redskins traveled down Highway 12 South to face off against the Hatteras Hurricanes. The game was a makeup rematch, as their second scheduled contest was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. The Hurricanes have been starved for games to play as they many of their scheduled games have been canceled due to either the weather or their new conference opponents not fielding a team this year. They were happy to have the Redskins come play them, but by the end of the match, they were likely anything but happy.
The game kicked off at a slow pace and saw sloppy touches from both teams. Manteo seemed a bit fatigued from their hard-fought game the night before and lacked the focus to find their touch on the ball. The Hurricanes saw equal amounts of the ball for the first ten minutes and Manteo seemed unconcerned about it.
Manteo’s first goal would come off of a solo press by Randall Klotz. Klotz pressured a bouncing ball played out wide right, and the defender under pressure, elected to play it back to the keeper, yet it was a poor pass. Klotz continued his run hard to the ball as both the keeper and another defender came to challenge the ball as well. The defender and goalie got in each other’s way and were unable to clear the ball. Klotz muscled the defender to the ground and was left with a wide-open goal to pass it into for Manteo’s first goal.
Manteo’s second goal would come from Eric Hernandez pressuring a defender facing his goal with the ball. Hernandez would win the ball from the defender deep in the 18-yard box, and place the ball perfectly low and in the far post side netting.
Manteo’s third goal of the half came off a free kick placed 35 yards out. Both Eric Hernandez and Jose Velasco would line up on the kick. Hernandez approached the ball first and taped the top of the ball with one rotation forward. Velasco was quick on his approach behind Hernandez and struck the ball hard, sailing just past the wall of defenders. The ball bounced just in front of the Hatteras keeper and skipped up awkwardly over top of the keeper and into the back of the net. The set piece would give Velasco his first goal of this season from the center back position.
While Manteo entered the half up 3-0, it was by no means a pretty half of soccer or a dominating performance for the Redskins. The Hurricanes had there fair share of attempts on goal but were unable to capitalize, and Manteo was not playing their normal passing game.
The Redskins regrouped and digressed tactics at halftime and came out looking like the Redskins fans have come to expect this season. They began to dominate possession right away by tightening up their passing triangles in the midfield, supporting the ball, communicating, and utilizing overlapping runs into space. The goals begin to pour in for the Redskins. Several goals were well earned by superior play by the Redskins, and others were scored off of defensive blunders by the Hurricanes.
Both Randall Klotz and Eric Hernandez would post a hat trick on the evening. Velasco’s goal, along with a goal from Yeifer Perez and J Zafra would put the Redskins on top 9-0, ending the match 15 minutes early.
The second half saw the entire roster chipping in for the victory as Redskins were subbed in and out all half until the game was over. Once the Redskins focused on the task at hand, they showed their true class, and dominated the run of play the entire second half, giving Hatteras very few opportunities to possess the ball.
After the game, Coach Cleaver stated, “It was a frustrating first half as we did not play well in that half. I knew we may have a bit of a hangover from the previous nights tough game against Edenton, but we warned them to come out focused and take control of the game early. In the second half, once we were focused and played with more energy and effort, we looked like the team I expect to see on the pitch. I was pleased that everyone got a chance to play and contribute to the win. We will continue to keep the mindset of one game at a time.”