CHESAPEAKE CITY–North East brought an increased energy level as compared to previous contests when it took on host Bohemia Manor in UCBAC Susquehanna Division boys’ soccer action Thursday afternoon.
The Indians’ increased energy level led to a better tempo, and that tempo paid off as they got three goals from three different people in three different ways and stymied the Eagles’ attack in a 3-1 victory.
“Tempo. We played on Tuesday, and the tempo was slow. It was a difficult game. It was a much better game today. We wanted it more. Our desire was more. Our willingness to attack those balls and do what we needed to was just better tonight,” North East head coach David Hamilton said.
The game was evenly played for the first 10 minutes, but the Indians started to tilt the action to their attacking half, creating a couple of promising scoring chances.
That control paid off when Charles Gordon saw a loose ball after a shot and raced towards it, shooting the ball into the net and giving North East a 1-0 lead in the game’s 13th minute.
“I saw it get deflected, and I just kept going. I didn’t stop running and went for the ball, and it went in,” Gordon said of his goal.
Hamilton said the Indians’ goal was emblematic of the effort that Gordon put in throughout the game against Bo Manor.
“Charles Gordon, who scored our first one, is a player on the fringe of the team who played a lot tonight because his desire was fantastic,” Hamilton said. “He got Man of the M<atch because I couldn’t pull him and couldn’t take him off the field.”
After the goal, North East continued to play well in the first half, and that strong play eventually paid off when Corey O’Connell headed Grant Morris’s corner kick into the net to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute.
The Indians made it 3-0 when Keegan Allen corralled a rebound after a penalty kick and pushed the ball into the net in the 58th minute, and Gordon said all three of North East’s goals are evidence of the team playing with that increased passion.
“If you watched us at the beginning of the season, you knew we had to make a big change, and tonight showed that we made that commitment,” Gordon said. “We had that desire, and we started to believe in each other and pick each other up.”
The Eagles got on the board with less than seven minutes left to go in the game when Jacob Titter put a shot into the net, and Bo Manor head coach Andy Mitchell said the Eagles played on its heels too much in the first half to recover from.
“It was slow for us, and (North East) definitely wasn’t slow from the very beginning. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy when we play the ball or don’t play the ball, and we move to or don’t move to a spot,” Mitchell said. “When you play back-footed, another is going to take advantage of that. We started out that way. We ended up better. The second half was better, but you can’t recover from that if you don’t really, really, really press.”