On Thursday, February 4th, your Manteo Redskins traveled north to face off against the Currituck Knights for their second fixture of the season. The matchup is always a hard fought and entertaining one, as last year, the two teams split with the Knights besting the Redskins in their first fixture by a score of 4-2, and the Redskins took the second matchup with a 2-0 result.
Currituck was fresh off a ten day quarantine, having only one practice on the 2nd of February, and a game against Camden on the 3rd.
Manteo set a fast pace tempo from the initial kick-off, pressing the Knight’s early on and looking for combination play down the flanks on the wide field. The liveliness of the Redskins payed off in the first two minutes of the game.
Andrew Hayman teamed up with Oscar Rivera in the midfield on the left side of the pitch to win the ball back. Hayman quickly pushed the ball past the initial two defenders and sprinted down into the corner of the 18-yard box drawing the attention of the center-back and the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper came sliding out at Hayman as he approached the touchline and Hayman cut the ball back to Carter Calvio as he made his run into the top of the six yard box. Hayman left Calvio a sitter with an open goal. Calvio tapped the ball in with his left foot to give Manteo an early lead.
In the eleventh minute of the first half, the duo of Hayman and Calvio were at it again. Play began with Richard Hernandez making an inside dribble off the left flank as Hayman made a diagonal run out wide. Once Hernandez drew the attention of the defenders, he laid the ball off back out wide to Hayman, leading him into space behind the defensive backline. Hayman ran it down and sent a low cross into the the top of the six-yard box that beat both defenders and a diving goalkeeper to find Calvio patiently waiting to get on the end of yet another sitter. Calvio tapped it in from three yards out for his second goal of the game.
With an early two goal lead and control of possession, Manteo seemed to take their foot off the gas pedal for a spell. The drop in energy was compounded when Oscar Rivera and Trent Hayman found themselves in the book and on the sideline for mistimed challenges. The absence of those two as well as the absence of captain, Noah Goetsch, who had a regional swim meet, left the door open for a rotation of freshmen to step up and show what they have.
Shortly after Manteo took a 2-0 lead, Currituck edged themselves back into the game with a beautiful cross from their left wing that found the head of their striker atop the six-yard box. The backline had over shifted prior to the cross, leaving only Perez and Weaver in the area to handle the ball in. The attacker did a great job of getting to the ball first to flick it past Weaver on the near post to bring the score line to 2-1.
Minutes before the first half mask break, Manteo regained their two goal lead that begin with nice combination play down the right flank from a freshman duo. Calvio brought down a throw-in from Alex Tovar, and played a clever back-heel chop down the line for Dylan Jones to run onto. Jones took his first touch at pace to beat his man down the sideline and earn the space to play a ball in. Jones sent a well weighted pass into the 18 yard box for Aiden Braswell. Braswell had his back to goal to receive the ball while holding off the center-back pressed against him. Braswell played a first time set backwards to Calvio as he entered the edge of the 18-yard box. Calvio struck the ball first time and looked to bend the ball into the far-post side netting. He got it wrong on the strike, but the goalkeeper could not catch it cleanly. The goalkeeper dropped the ball and Aldo Herrera swooped in to tap it in for the Redskins.
In the later parts of the first half, Manteo continued to threaten in their attacking final third. However, Currituck was beginning to find more of their playmakers in the midfield and began to connect passes more often than the slow start they got off too.
Andrew Hayman decided to show the other side of his attacking prowess after assisting the first two goals of the game. Hayman pushed the backline deep onto their 18-yard box as the ball was worked wide down the right wing. Hayman popped off the line, coming back to receive the ball in space. Upon receiving the ball on the half-turn, Hayman let a shot fly from 25 yards out on his second touch. The ball curled perfectly into the far-post top corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance of a save.
Despite dominating much of the first half, Currituck had the last laugh with a second goal. A cross was delivered into the six-yard box from the right wing, headed back across the box in the direction of the initial cross, and a Currituck attacker got on the end of it to bury it in the back of the net.
Unhappy with the halftime score line of 4-2, Manteo looked to make a few minor corrections and set an up-tempo pace to begin the second half.
A refocused Manteo got off to another great start as they netted their fifth goal of the game just three minutes into the second half. Andrew Hayman had again drifted wide to receive the ball in space. Hayman used a burst of speed to touch the ball past his defender and drive the ball into the box. Hayman’s run into the box drew all the attention of the Knight’s backline as they all shifted over to deal with him. Hayman send a short cross to the far post to find the right foot of freshman, Damien Rivera. Rivera knocked the ball into the back of the net off the half-volley on his first touch to earn his first varsity soccer goal. The delight of Damien’s older brother, Oscar, could be heard from the bench, cheering on his little brother’s first goal.
The bulk of the second half was played in the midfield and in Manteo’s attacking third. Justin Ortega-Santos was an absolute workhorse in the midfield in the double pivot role. He made the backline’s job rather easy in the second half, limiting balls they had to deal with and did well to distribute out to Calvio and the wingers to begin attacking transitions.
As the end of the game drew near, Andrew Hayman solidified his man-of-the-match performance with a second goal. Braswell intercepted a diagonal pass from the Knight’s backline and began to attack their central defenders just outside of the 18-yard box. Braswell beat one defender and was then fouled by the second but the referee played advantage as Hayman quickly burst onto the scene to touch the ball beyond the backline and into space near the penalty mark. The goalkeeper came charging out and Hayman used the outside of his right foot and slot the ball comfortably home past the keeper into the side netting.
The game would end with a comfortable 6-2 result in favor of your Manteo Redskins.
Coach Cleaver stated after the game, “I am happy with the result as Currituck is always a tough team and a difficult place to play. Their pitch provides so much space on the flanks for one on one battles. I felt we did well and won most of our one on one battles all throughout the pitch tonight and that was a big part of our win. It was great to see our freshmen players step up and play so well when given the opportunity. Earning trust from older players and the coaching staff is important going forward. While we played well overall, we know that we can play much better. We are unhappy to concede two goals and will continue to work hard in training to negate future goal concessions. Conference play starts next week and we wish to give our opponents no hope at all.”
Andrew Hayman: 2 goals, 3 assist
Carter Calvio: 2 goals
Aldo Herrera: 1 goal
Damien Rivera: 1 goal
|Pass Success Rate||72%||67%|