Rowe’s hat trick pow­ers In­di­ans past Pan­thers


Spe­cial to the Whig

— De­spite the big game he had, North East’s Con­nor Rowe saw a dras­tic im­prove­ment by his team­mates dur­ing their 3-2 non-di­vi­sional home win over Per­ryville on Tues­day.

“Our team just came to­gether,” he said. “Our first two games, we were kind of play­ing in­di­vid­u­ally, but [tonight] we played as a team, and our de­fense re­ally helped put this to­gether for us.”

Rowe scored all three of the In­di­ans’ goals in a tug-of-war match that saw two ties and a com­bined five goals in the se­cond half. North East’s de­fense worked dou­ble time, as the Pan­thers dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and cut off the hosts’ passes all evening.

“I wanted to make sure they didn’t get a chance to make turns,” In­di­ans head coach Mark Kalwa said. “Our de­fense did a good job stay­ing on them and mak­ing sure their for­wards didn’t turn.”

Per­ryville out-shot North East (1-1-1) 12-6 and held a 5-1 ad­van­tage in cor­ner kicks, but it went 1-for-2 in penalty kicks, while Rowe’s hat trick ac­counted for half of the In­di­ans’ shots on goal.

Rowe’s first goal came half­way through the first half. The Pan­ther de­fense didn’t have to do much defending early on but sud­denly found it­self pinned deep in In­dian ter­ri­tory. With Rowe in hot pur­suit, a de­fender col­lided with goal­keeper Trevor Prevost while try­ing to clear the ball. Rowe punched the ball into the va­cant net to make it 1-0.

The score stayed that way into the se­cond half. Per-


ryville (1-3) tied the game in the 50th minute with ju­nior Ilario Er­cole’s goal from the right side­line. The Pan­thers missed a golden op­por­tu­nity to take the lead a minute later when Kevin Makach’s penalty kick clanged off the top of the cross­bar and out.

“A lit­tle break here or a lit­tle break there, and the game would’ve gone 180 the other way,” Per­ryville head coach Daniel Kiesl said. “They guys were very pumped and emo­tional go­ing into the se­cond half, and they fought hard un­til the end.”

North East took ad­van­tage of the break by tak­ing the lead again with 18:30 left. Rowe drew Prevost out of the net a se­cond time. Prevost dove to block Rowe’s at­tempt, but the ball scooted past him, al­low­ing Rowe to re­cover and kick it into the empty net.

The Pan­thers got an­other penalty kick eight min­utes later, and Jon Ha­mam­cioglu didn’t miss it, knot­ting the game at 2-all.

Rowe got the lead right back for good with 4:48 left, this time sprint­ing a clear path to the net down the mid­dle of the field ahead of his de­fender.

“I think it was off a goal kick and Adam (Bute­newicz) had a header, just enough for me to get a hold of it and go,” Rowe said.

Kalwa echoed Rowe’s feel­ings about his team’s per­for­mance.

“One thing about this team, they’ve got so much heart,” he said. “We started with a loss and tie, but they came back in both games. They fight and fight and they took it to an­other level tonight. I al­ways preach first five min­utes, last five min­utes, and they re­ally played with a sense of ur­gency.”

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