Hustle plays helped the Knights earn a win in their season-opener.
After falling behind during the first half to Schuyler, the Norfolk Catholic/Lutheran High Northeast boys soccer team bounced back with a game-tying goal by sophomore forward Jacob Molacek before halftime, then got the game-winner from another sophomore forward--Christian Prim--with 7:09 remaining to earn the 2-1 win.
Schuyler got on the scoreboard first with just over 28 minutes left in the half.
During an attack on the Knights’ goal the ball ended up in the arms of goal-keeper Dylan Cattau. But Cattau, on his knees, ever-so-briefly lost control of the ball before immediately regaining possession--but not before the ball had crept across the goalline.
The Warriors’ Diego Dearcos was given credit for the goal, and the Knights trailed 1-0.
“I think their guy may have actually touched it, so they got credit for it, but Dylan may have just had some first-game nervousness and mishandled it,” Knights coach Kevin Miller said. “I thought he had it stopped, but he just fumbled it a little bit, and the ball crossed the line.”
Overall, Cattau’s work in goal--and the NC/LHNE defense--was solid all game long in the face of frequent Schuyler attacks.
“They out-possessed us by a lot. I thought Dylan played really well throughout the game; he had six saves, and four were great stops,” Miller said. “We were fortunate on some others. They had three shots that hit the post and another that went off the cross bar, but we played good defense. I thought coming in that would be the case because we had returning starters on that end.”
Molacek’s goal--a point-blank one-timer on a rebound shot directly in front of the net--tied the game at 1-1 with 3:19 remaining in the first half, setting up Prim’s opportunity in the second half.
“I’m just really happy we found a way to win. We talked at halftime about giving effort and that the first-game jitters should be gone,” he said. “I didn’t think we played as timid in the second half, and our touches were a lot better. In general, we calmed down, relaxed, and played better.”
When the ball came loose from 15-yards out late in the game, Prim took advantage of an un-protected net to bury the shot that produced the Knights’ 2-1 win.
“Prim did a nice job on that last goal; the net was empty because the keeper came out to try to cover it up--I guess you could say we got a couple of ‘hustle’ points today,” Miller said. “From the midfielders on up we didn’t really possess the ball great. They had good speed, and their passing was really good. They’re a good team; their record is 1-4, but they’ve lost to some quality teams.”
Next action for NC/LHNE is a girls and boys double-header against Grand Island Northwest on Tuesday. Game times are 4:30 and 6:30.
NC/LHNE (1-0) ............................. 1 1--2
Schuyler (1-4) .............................. 1 0--1
Goals: (SCH) Diego Dearcos; (NC/LHNE) Jacob Molacek, Christian Prim.