by Emma Polini
The WHS boys soccer team fell to rival SPF 2-1 on Sept. 15. WHS started out strong, holding a 1-0 lead at halftime. But SPF responded in the second half with two goals which sealed them the victory.
WHS led off the game with a strong attack. Junior Henry Smith had the first scoring opportunity of the game but he narrowly missed, leaving the score 0-0. WHS maintained possession for a majority of the half.
Seven minutes into the first half, junior Shane Kronick and senior Co-Captain Spencer Kerkhof connected a number of passes. Kronick centered the ball into the box and junior Jake Héroux tapped it in for the first goal of the game, immediately silencing the previously rowdy SPF fans. Said Héroux: “Shane made a good run down the line and [then] played it to Spencer. It happened to land right in front of me, and I kicked it in.”
Through the first half, WHS maintained a strong defense. Said Kerkhof, “Our defense [did] a stellar job shutting down SPF’s dangerous players.”
In the beginning of the second half, SPF exploited holes in the WHS defense and scored on a goal that dipped under the crossbar. Kerkhof said, “Max [Marchiano ‘12] and Dean [Schapow ‘12] went for the header to save it, but it was too late.”
With just over 20 minutes left in the game, Héroux had another opportunity, but SPF goalie Vinny Bianco beat him to the ball in the open field. Minutes later, SPF scored from a free kick just outside the box. SPF senior Travis Cortes bent the ball into the top left corner.
According to Coach George Kapner, WHS created a number of goal opportunities, but ultimately they were unable to capitalize.
With three minutes left, junior Noah Rosenberg had a breakaway, but Bianco poked it away before he could get a shot off.
Kapner said that while some of the boys have played for two years, the team also has a number of younger players and he is still “finding [out] who should be on the field and where they should play.”
WHS’s next game is Sept. 27 at 6:45 p.m. at Elizabeth.