Fresh off their big 1-0 win over the Carlinville Cavaliers 48 hours earlier, the Hillsboro High School men’s soccer team returned to the field Thursday afternoon, September 16, as they played host to the Greenville Comets at the Sports Complex.
If there was any question that Oranges and Blacks might be suffering from a successful “hangover” and be less than on their post game game against the Cavies, those questions would be answered early and often in the form of count down in the first five minutes and four more. in the remaining 75:00 would give Hillsboro the big 5-0 victory and maintain them a perfect 4-0 in South Central Conference play.
The offense would come out immediately for the Toppers as the home team extended the field against the Comets and were able to work the ball back and forth, even at times sending it back to their defenders to generate points on the net. Greenville.
As a result, the Comets would have to use a bit of physics to slow down Hillsboro’s attack and it would almost bite them as they were whistled for a foul just inside their own half and senior defenseman Devin Speiser s’ lined up for a deep free kick. .
As he has been all season, Speiser was on hand with the ball and connected with junior midfielder Will Christian inside the Greenville penalty area. Christian would get his shot but the junior would push him right off and out of play.
Hillsboro wouldn’t have to wait to avenge the near miss, as in the possession that followed the Comets were whistled for another foul. This time, Greenville’s baseline would play the ball poorly and allow it to flow to senior forward Gavin Matoush.
Matoush would make the most of the good fortune by touching the pass to fellow senior Ethan Lentz, who would be quickly knocked out by junior Adison Pollard. From there, Pollard would go to the races and work on his own, beating the low left goalie and giving Hillsboro the 1-0 lead early on.
The Toppers would maintain the attack and continue to occupy Comet’s defense while keeping their formation sidelined and moving the ball back and forth on the visitors who fabricated looks on the net.
After a few near misses, Hillsboro added to their lead just after halfway through the first as senior sweeper Matt Page connected with Christian on a deep throw in the Greenville game. Christian would put him over the keeper’s head and in the upper right corner for the 2-0 lead, a lead they would hold onto until the break.
At halftime, the Toppers would honor their elders and parents with a midfield ceremony. Those honored were Ayden Brewer and her parents Trevis and Jill Brewer; Ethan Lentz and his parents Matt and Brandi Lentz; Gavin Matoush and his parents Chris and Jill Matoush; Keegan Murray and his parents John and Nicki Murray; Matt Page and his parents Dan Page and Coral Christian; and Devin Speiser and his parents Doug and Lori Speiser.
When play resumed in the second, Hillsboro continued the attack, scoring almost a minute into the frame as Lentz found Matoush in front. Matoush would shoot straight into the hands of the keeper and end the race.
After the near crash, the Toppers would have a bit of a hard time finishing as a defensive adjustment for Greenville flooded the back with more body and less room to move. This, coupled with a greater focus on individual defense as opposed to full field formations, would clog the midfield and it would take Hillsboro a bit of time to adjust.
When they did, however, the offense intensified for more points with a big point in the 16th minute of half-time as the Comets were whistled for a foul just outside. the 25 yard line. Christian would line up for the free kick and his kick would go straight into the defensive wall set up by the Greenville midfielder. But his shot ricocheted off him and he absolutely buried the rebound in the upper left side for his second of the game, giving the Toppers a 3-0 lead.
Then, at 4.30 p.m. left, Matoush would come in the scoring as Lentz controlled the ball in midfield and was hammered with a check from the midfielder from Comet. Lentz was able to keep his feet as well as dribbling possession even further into the end of Greenville before connecting with Matoush up front.
Matoush would finish the race, beating the lower right side goalie to give Hillsboro the 4-0. The two would hook up a few minutes later as Lentz found Matoush on his own. Matoush would win his second of the night and his third in two games, condemning the Comets and sealing the senior night with the 5-0 victory.
“I’m so happy for this group of seniors tonight that they get this win,” said Hillsboro coach Jason Burke, who claimed his 199th win of the game. “We love these guys so much and they have been so important to our team for the past four years and these have been arguably the most successful years in our school’s history and this group is a big part of that success. I’m so proud of these guys and so happy for them.
The win keeps the Toppers on a perfect 4-0 record in the SCC game and 8-4 overall. Hillsboro is playing at home again this afternoon, Sept. 20, starting at 4:30 p.m. against the Lincolnwood Lancers.
September 16 in Hillsboro
Greenville 0 0 – 0
Hillsboro 2 3 – 5
Rating: Hillsboro – Will Christian 2, Gavin Matoush 2, Adison Pollard 1.
Save: Hillsboro (8-4, 4-0).