The Hamilton SC 2015 Strikers went to Howell hoping to collect points. The Strikers currently sit third in the National 5 Division of the MOSA League for U-9 Boys. With hope of a top 2 finish they need to collect wins on teams that they drew with early in the season. Howell is one example of a game that they drew with earlier in the season that they hope to collect a win against in their second match-up.
The Strikers put up a valiant effort in the first half but conceded a goal about 10 minutes into the first half to go down 1-0. “The team came out with good effort but gave up the middle of the field too easily.” Coach Kurt Bliefernich explained. “We need to control the middle of the field and distribute out to our mid-fielders to move around congestion.”
After the goal the Strikers moved to control play. They kept the ball in the Howell end of the field and had several good chances. “We had trouble getting a good foot on the ball to finish” shared Coach Eric Todd. Colin Todd had some wonderful runs up the sidelines but was unable to get effective crosses. Jett Aviles was about to shake free in the middle of the goal but could not get a clear shot. Yaw Barwuah had a few glimpses of goal but could not find good footing to hit a clean shot. The Strikers ended the half with several good possessions stringing together multiple passes while evading an active Howell defense.
The first half ended with the Strikers down 1-0. At half time the coaching staff played up the increased passing and encouraged the mid-field to keep their width to open up passing and dribbling lanes. It did not take long for the Strikers to put that coaching into action in the second half.
Starting with the ball the Strikers brought the ball up the wing and Colin Todd scored a quick goal to level the game in the first minute. After Howell reset, the Strikers quickly stole the ball and worked the wings again while Jett Aviles scored a second goal 30 seconds later in a congested middle to give the Strikers a 2-1 advantage.
With the lead now in hand the Strikers continued to dominate the second half living on the Howell side of the field. Half way through the second half, Colin Todd grabbed his second goal from a wide cross that confused the keeper and the ball slipped through his hands and found it’s way to the other side of the goal line to bring the score to 3-1.
Howell pushed counter attacks into the Hamilton end but each time the shots were turned away by goal keeper Reno Furlough. Between stout defending by the trifecta of Lucas Persichilli, Colton Duino, and Axel Chichay-Yarigsicha and the stone wall created by Reno Furlough the Strikers kept a clean sheet in the second half.
The Strikers added an insurance goal from Yaw Barwuah on a ripper right over the Howell goalies head to close out the scoring for the day.
“I am really proud of the improvements that every player has made so far this year. They come out to practice and put in the work and it is showing on the field.” shared head coach Kurt Bliefernich. “This year is about player development and learning to play as a team. The boys are starting to work the ball around the field better and are finding better chances because of it.”
The Strikers close out the fall league campaign Sunday November 19th with a home game against Old Bridge. Old Bridge was the first game of the season and ended with a 1-1 tie. The game should be a good benchmark for the progress the team has made.