Hat­ters go down to 10 men, draw Wis­sahickon

HH moves into 1st-place tie in SOL Amer­i­can

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS - By An­drew Robinson arobin­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @ADRobin­son3 on Twit­ter

HOR­SHAM » The Hat­boro-Hor­sham boys soc­cer team wasn’t able to give coach Kyle McGrath out­right dibs on the SOL Amer­i­can for his birth­day, but they got him the next best thing.

The Hat­ters, play­ing a man down for nearly 40 min­utes, man­aged to gut out a 1-1 tie with Wis­sahickon un­der the lights Tues­day night, mov­ing the team into a share of first place with Up­per Dublin. A match that started like it was shot out of a can­non slowed into a phys­i­cal some­times messy stale­mate.

When the fi­nal whis­tle sounded, the Hat­ters were OK with what they got out of it.

“The ef­fort and just the abil­ity to not al­low them to score while down a man for 40 min­utes, I’m just su­per-proud of their ef­fort and the way they were able to main­tain their com­po­sure,” McGrath said. “

Wis­sahickon on the other hand, was not too pleased with the out­come. Yes, it ex­tended the Tro­jans’ un­beaten run to eight games, but the two points left on the pitch loomed large. Wiss scored on its sec­ond shot of the game, but was then shut out for nearly 96 min­utes.

After play­ing Up­per Dublin to a draw to end last week, Wiss coach Stu­art Mal­colm had a long postgame talk with his play­ers. The gen­eral mes­sage was one of missed op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“This was a missed op­por­tu­nity, you play 40 min­utes a man up, their keeper made a few out-

stand­ing saves and I felt the same on Fri­day,” Mal­colm said. “On Fri­day, we cre­ated a lot of good op­por­tu­ni­ties, we did the same thing again tonight but against these teams, if you get four or five good op­por­tu­ni­ties, you’re do­ing well. We had four or five good op­por­tu­ni­ties and if you’re not going to fin­ish those, it be­comes a missed op­por­tu­nity.”

Wiss got a dream start with Ed­die Fortes­cue’s can­non-armed throw in set­ting things up. The ini­tial throw led to a shot by Michael Steitz that was saved by HH keeper Zack Kim, but Fortes­cue was right there on the near post to tap it in with 36:15 left in the first half.

Kim had done all he could on the play, but let­ting in an early goal only made the ju­nior de­ter­mined not to do it again. The Hat­ters’ keeper was fan­tas­tic on Tues­day, mak­ing eight saves with three ex­cep­tional stops of oth­er­wise sure goals.

“I think it’s re­ally just about talk­ing to my back four and Colin (Bateman), they do most of the work and if they slip up, I’m just there to back them up,” Kim said. “We just needed to follow our marks. We took care of it the last 80 min­utes, so it worked out. I’m al­ways try­ing to fig­ure out who has who, then I’m track­ing the ball, de­cid­ing whether I’m stay­ing in or com­ing out and if I’m going to have a de­fender clear it out.”

De­spite at one point telling one of his de­fend­ers to “go away,” mean­ing to clear the ball, Kim gets along very well with his back line. His voice booms

across the field, com­mand­ing the de­fense and hold­ing mid­fielder Colin Bateman, some­thing Kim has worked on ex­ten­sively since his fresh­man sea­son.

Kim made a div­ing stop of David Gold­stein’s header with 22 min­utes left in the first half, then had an­other par­al­lel save of Liam Weiss in the first half. After be­ing the backup keeper the last two years, Kim has seized the job this fall.

“He’s re­ally grown into the role, he’s the rea­son why we get out of here with a point tonight,” McGrath said.

“McGrath’s al­ways taught me to talk more and I’ve got­ten used to it and I’m more com­fort­able with it,” Kim added.

The Hat­ters re­sponded al­most im­me­di­ately. Bateman sent a gor­geous, boom­ing ball out of the back that found its way right to the foot of Nick Hatzen­beller just as the for­ward broke through the Wiss back line. Hatzen­beller touched the ball around keeper Jun Yuh then de­liv­ered a beau­ti­ful strike into the net with 34:25 left in the half.

What looked like a high-paced of­fen­sive duel slowed down and turned very phys­i­cal after half­time. With 17:02 left in the sec­ond half, Hat­ters mid­fielder JD Mallinger was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Yuh after the keeper had left the 18yard box chas­ing a 50/50 ball.

McGrath con­ceded he felt Wis­sahickon was the bet­ter team in the first half, but thought his guys had the bet­ter of play up un­til the red card.

“We changed for­ma­tions pretty quickly and it was a mat­ter of them com­pet­ing and win­ning bat­tles they had to win when

we were down a man,” McGrath said. “I thought Brad Born­stein came in and did well for us in the cen­ter mid­field, so we’re con­fi­dent he can play well. Ob­vi­ously, JD has been great for us all year, so re­plac­ing him is hard but I think we have guys who can step up and give us an 80-minute per­for­mance.”

The Hat­ters play Ply­mouth Whitemarsh, the team that just beat Up­per Dublin, on Thursday, so the path doesn’t get eas­ier. Hat­boro-Hor­sham also faces Up­per Dublin next week.

Both teams are also bat­tling for dis­trict play­off seed­ing. The Hat­ters en­tered play on Tues­day as the No. 7 team in the Dis­trict I rank­ings, with the top eight earn­ing firstround byes. Wis­sahickon was the No. 9 team, again mak­ing the draw a missed chance.

“We ended up hav­ing to play more of what their game was, and that’s the frus­trat­ing part with us be­ing 10 against 11 men on the field, if we have the ball, we were going to be bet­ter but if you’re not going to have the ball be­cause you’re not going to chal­lenge them in the air, then we’ll strug­gle to do what it is we’re good at,” Mal­colm said. “I cred­ited and pointed out to all the de­fend­ers that they’ve done what their job is. They’ve kept (Up­per) Dublin to one goal, they kept Hat­boro to one goal. For the for­wards and mid­field play­ers, they’ve cre­ated chances, that’s what you want as a coach but I told them they have to fin­ish those chances.” Hat­boro-Hor­sham 1, Wis­sahickon 1

Wis­sahickon 1 0 0 0–1 Hat­boro-Hor­sham 1 0 0 0–1

Goals: HH – Nick Hatzen­beller; W – Ed­die Fortes­cue. Saves: HH – Zack Kim 8,W – Jun Yuh 4.

BOB RAINES — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Hat­boro-Hor­sham’s JD Mallinder bat­tles Wis­sahickon’s Liam Weiss and Matthew Om for a head ball Tues­day.

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