Tigers hand MA initial loss
Northwestern's Matthew Strickland (4) heads the ball in front of teammate Brandon Herb (11) and Moravian Academy's Ryan Brown.
By TJ ENGLE
It's a matter of quality over quantity.
Monday afternoon, Moravian Academy outshot Northwestern for the majority of the game.
While Nate Hunsicker has seen his Tiger boys soccer team on the better end of stat sheet most games, the Lions held a 12-9 advantage in shots on goal through 40 minutes of regulation.
But the host Tigers (4-1-2 overall, 3-1-1 Colonial League) made the most of their opportunites to pull out a 2-0 Colonial League win, handing Moravian (4-2, 3-1) its first league loss of the season.
"Sometimes it's not the amount of chances that you have, but capitalizing on the ones you are blessed with," Hunsicker said. "Fortunately, with both of those situtations, we had the guy in the right place at the right time and that's the name of the game.
"We have been on the other end, where we had more opportunities and the other team had less and we came out on the losing end. We can definitely empathize with how the other team felt. But, it was an all-around great win for us."
While the Lions and Tigers had exchanged several shots during the first 20-some minutes of play, Northwestern senior midfielder Brandon Ettl was the first to cash in on one.
With 7:05 left in the opening half, the Tigers' Eric Mochamer sent a perfect feed across the front of the Lions' net. Ettl finished it on his first shot of the game and the team's third shot of the opening half for a 1-0 lead.
Ettl, who leads the Tigers with five goals this season, just wanted to give his team the edge it needed.
"I just kept working hard out there on the field," said Ettl, who has five goals and two assists on the season. "I really wanted to score in this game. When Eric got the ball back to me, I was able to put it in the corner. I was just glad to be able to finish on my first attempt."
Freshman defender Jonathan Blaine found his way up the field to make it 2-0 with only four minutes and eight seconds ticked off the second-half clock. Blaine took a perfect send in by teammate Matt Strictland and used his head to push the ball past the Lions' keeper.
The Tiger defense, especially goalkeeper Kyle Bellhorn and defenders Brandon Herb, Cody Gangaware, Matt Harshey and Keegan Coffield were responsible for two goals would be enough against the powerful Lions offense.
"I said to the boys at halftime that what is going to win this game is defending as a team," said Hunsicker. "And they did that 11 men through, top to bottom.
"Moravian Academy was knocking on the door in the second half. They wanted to come back and they were very resilient. We didn't let that happen."