Men’s soccer falls to Moeller Crusaders 2-1
Freddie Wilhelm | Staff Writer
The Comets were neck and neck with Moeller this Thursday, but eventually were defeated in a close game that ended 2-1.
The game started with the Comets aggressively pushing up the field towards the Moeller goal in attempt to take the lead. This was highlighted in the thirteenth minute when junior Nick Krueger hit the crossbar of the goal from a shot just outside the 18-yard box — followed by a close range effort from junior Josh Iroh, who came close to scoring from about 12 yards from the goal.
Despite these early chances, the Comets found themselves scoreless with Moeller pressuring their half. But the Comets held out and found themselves with a scoring opportunity from a free kick 21 yards out from the goal. Krueger stepped up to take the kick and placed the shot into the top right corner, putting the Comets up 1-0. Krueger said this goal was a big mental boost for him and his teammates.
“I’m glad I was able to bring a goal to the team,” Krueger said. “It gave us a 1-0 lead, but also boosted our mentality and it made me feel like I was truly part of the team as well as something bigger than myself.”
The Crusaders were ready to strike back; 2 minutes after the Comets had scored, Moeller matched them with a goal of their own from about 18 yards out. Going into halftime, the Comets found themselves level with a score of 1-1. Head Coach Paul Reedy said the first half played a crucial role in the mentality of both teams.
“I felt like for the majority (of the first half) we played well, we did what we wanted and when we scored the goal we got really hyped up,” Reedy said. “Then we quickly got emotional let down right after (our goal) when they got their goal right before halftime. It gave them the momentum at the end, and we didn’t respond like I had hoped in the second half.”
The second half started similar to the end of the first half: the Comets struggled to keep possession and struggled to put together attacks towards the Crusaders. Reedy said the Comets offense has been lacking early in the season.
“We’ve got to get more dangerous on offense,” Reedy said. “We’ve scored two goals in our two games, and both have been set pieces (plays that start with a ball in a dead situation like a free kick, penalty, or corner), which is fine, but we can’t only rely on the set pieces to get our goals, we need to get better in open play.”
The Crusaders were able to be more decisive on the attacking end which gave them their final goal. The Comets came close to drawing level as they put the pressure on the Moeller goal, but with many shots going just wide, it seemed that the Comets were out of luck. They lost to the Crusaders 1-2. Senior captain Phillip Springsteen said his team could have done more to stop the situation from happening.
“It’s easy to blame the refs for the giveaway leading to the final goal,” Springsteen said. “But that’s not the case, it’s a team issue. They had two really good shots, but we could have established more pressure and pushed harder which comes down to a lack of work ethic, which is something we need to work on.”
Kreuger said work ethic was definitely something he could have worked on to help the team.
“My effort level dropped at points in the game, whether if it was because we lost the ball or we had a bad pass,” Krueger said. “I think I can improve on this for our next game and help the team more.”
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Photos by Staff Photographer Tanner Pearson.