Manteo Finds Their Form

On Thursday, August 29th, the Manteo men’s varsity squad traveled up to Northeastern High School to take on the Eagles. At the time, the Eagles were 2-0 as Manteo’s current record was 0-2. Manteo was eager to get in the win column and focused on cleaning up their overall play. Their goal was to earn the victory and a clean sheet; two things they had yet to do this season.

Manteo began attacking right away off the kick-off, sending in a cross that was easily intercepted by the keeper. The Eagle’s goalkeeper quickly distributed the ball out with a long throw to a streaking midfielder on the left flank to began a counter-attack. The midfielder completed a one-two combo around Manteo’s left-back to receive the ball back into Manteo’s defensive third. As Perez closed the gap on the ball from the center, the attacker cracked a low and hard shot across the face of the goal that clanked off the far post and into the six-yard box. Manteo cleared the ball easily but they were inches away from another disastrous start. From then on, Manteo settled in and controlled the game for the most part.

The Redskins were instructed to keep their formation compact and connected while playing short seven to twelve yard passes on the ground. They began the early minutes of the game with a string of ten passes, earning a throw-in in the final third. Their next attacking effort would put it all together with a superb finish from Andrew Hayman.

Center defensive midfielder, Brandon Gonzalez-Martinez, intercepted a ball in the center mid-field and quickly found Carter Calvio in support. Driving the ball forward through the middle and drawing the attention of several defenders, Calvio sent a well-weight diagonal ball out wide to J Zafra on the left flank. Zafra ran it down in the final third with one defender pressing behind him. Zafra controlled the ball down near the end line and sent a beautiful left-footed cross curling to his target on the back-post. The keeper and other defenders had over-shifted to the near post, leaving Hayman all alone atop the six-yard box. Hayman calmly headed the ball perfectly into the side netting to take an early 1-0 lead.

While Manteo controlled the overall tempo and possession of the first half, Northeastern did a great job of earning quick counter-attacks. Manteo was testing out a new back-line that includes three freshmen. The new back unit did a great job overall throughout the game but they were still working out a few kinks early on that required Ortega to step up and make three saves in the first half.

Manteo failed to capitalize on a handful of dangerous attacking opportunities and they would go into half-time with a 1-0 lead.

Early in the second half, Hernandez would test the keeper early with a shot off of a one-two combination with Calvio that lead him into the 18-yard box. The keeper was up for the challenge.

Several minutes later, there was absolutely nothing the keeper could do to stop the next shot from Noah Goetsch out of the mid-field.  Goetsch began the possession on Manteo’s own half after intercepting a pass from the Eagles. Goetsch dribbled forward until he drew a defender and passed up to Hayman holding length. Hayman and the center-back battled for control of the pass and the ball was knocked back to Goetsch as he continued his run forward through the mid-field. Upon receiving it back, Goetsch quickly sent a diagonal pass out wide to Hernandez on the right. Hernandez played a lofty cross into the box that sent two defenders and the keeper scrambling to win it and clear it out. On the second clearance from a defender, the ball looped back out to Goetsch. Goetsch crushed the ball cleanly out of the air on the first touch from twenty-five yards out, bending it into the lower left side netting before the keeper could even begin an attempt at the ball. It was a clinical strike that gave Manteo control with a 2-0 lead.

Manteo continued to use the width and short combination passes in the midfield to control the game. Shortly after taking a 2-0 lead, Manteo would put the game out of reach with a third goal.

Left-back, Oscar Rivera, would combo with Aldo Herrera on the left wing to spring him into space, driving down the flank in which Herrera unleashed a cracker of a shot towards the near post. The keeper was in the correct position to deflect it down but that was all he could do. Hayman was watching and anticipating the play the entire time and he was there to tap the ball in off the goal line before the defenders could clear it out.

The game ended in a 3-0 victory for the Redskins.

Game Stats:

A. Hayman: 2 goals

N. Goetsch: 1 goal

J. Zafra: 1 assist

Player of the match: Oscar Rivera

Team Stats
MHS
NHS
Possession %
54.1%
45.9%
Attacking Transitions
74
58
Goals
3
0
Shots
28
11
Crosses
15
6
Corners
3
2
Free Kicks
3
12
Passes
263
200
Successful Passes
203
154
Pass Success Rate
77%
77%

Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “It seemed like a lot of things clicked for us today. We stayed connected and disciplined in the back with more communication and kept things short and simple in the midfield. It led to better overall play and win. Different players stepped up in new positions and our subs came on providing highly effective minutes. It’s exciting to see us moving forward.”

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