08/31/07 — Hobbton blitzes Rosewood

View Archive

Hobbton blitzes Rosewood

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on August 31, 2007 2:54 PM

Trailing just 2-1 at halftime to Hobbton, coach Daniel Mitchell and his Rosewood Eagles were feeling good with what had transpired.

Unfortunately, those positive feelings exited minutes into the second half. Hobbton scored six goals and rolled to an 8-1, non-conference victory at Branch Pope Field.

"It started off well," said Mitchell. "It didn't take long for Hobbton to get a head of steam and put us on the back of our heels. They moved the ball well and took advantage of their opportunities."

Jose Bartolo and Jose Mejia took advantage of most of those opportunities as the pair both registered hat tricks (three goals) for the Wildcats. Justin Jones and Jarid Guerrero added the other goals for Hobbton.

Rosewood's lone goal was tallied by Cody Harris.

From the outset, Hobbton consistently maintained control of the ball, yet it was the Eagles who struck first.

Cameron Lowe fired a pass wide to Harris, who took a few dribbles and launched a shot from 15 yards out. The ball landed perfect into the opposite corner of the goal, giving Rosewood a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.

"One of the things we emphasized was getting the ball out wide," said Mitchell. "The couple of times we moved the ball down the field, we got it out wide. We wanted to do it more."

Hobbton appeared to have the equalizer three minutes later. Jones drilled a free kick off the crossbar, Bartolo whiffed on the rebound shot. The Eagles' Zach Tubb cleaned up with a big clear.

Rosewood's defense wouldn't be so lucky later in the first half when it missed clearing the ball and Bartolo slid in and found the back of the net to tie the game.

Countless times Hobbton looked to take the lead when the big foot of Justin Beldon would come along to clear the ball for the Eagles.

Rosewood goalie Will Grantham also did his best against an onslaught of shots. Grantham faced 24 shots and came away with 12 saves.

"Will had a couple of keys saves," said Mitchell. "(The score) could've been a lot worse."

The Wildcats finally got the lead they'd never relinquish at the 30-minute mark when Mejia scored to the left of Grantham.

Undaunted by the goal Rosewood nearly answered minutes later. Elliott Lee passed to an open Lowe who went one-on-one against Hobbton's keeper. Lowe blasted a shot that went off the keeper and was cleared ending one of Rosewood's last real scoring opportunities.

Hobbton scored early and often in the final 40 minutes.

Just one minute into second-half action, Bartolo split Rosewood's defense and hit a perfect shot past Grantham. The onslaught continued as the Wildcats scored every way imaginable.

"One goal, then another goal and another," said Mitchell. "The guys just started hanging their heads and quit doing the things we wanted them to do."

With precision passing aided by great communication, Hobbton kept the ball away from Rosewood.

"I try to instill in every single practice that you have to keep your head up and communicate," said Hobbton coach Damon Burnett. "When you play soccer you should be telling a story about what you're doing, where you're going and where you want the ball."

Hobbton scored three additional goals before the midfield official blew his whistle to end the contest. The Wildcats departed 2-2 overall, while the Eagles remained winless in two outings.

"We're just not defending real well right now as a team," said Mitchell. "I don't want to single anyone out, we're just not doing it collectively as a group."