RHAM’s senior goalie Erik Buden braces to stop a shot from Rocky Hill’s Austin Murawski as senior Benjamin Clate plays defense. The Raptors would lose to the Terriers 2-0 in Rocky Hill before rebounding the next day with a 2-0 victory over East Catholic at RHAM High School.
RHAM boys’ soccer head coach Ray Bell has been preaching the need for consistency to his team all season.
Last week the Raptors dropped a game at Rocky Hill, 2-0, before flipping the script the following day with a 2-0 win over East Catholic at RHAM High School. It was the team’s seventh victory of the season.
“We’ve been a little inconsistent all year,” said Bell. “We play a good game and then we don’t have the same intensity the next.”
In the loss to Rocky Hill on Oct. 27, the Raptors controlled the tempo early on and had several chances over the first 40 minutes, yet were never able to get a shot passed Rocky Hill’s goalie Jacub Gawron
Sean Connolly, Bradley Lim, Jacob Dooley, Maxwell Sementa, and Cameron Rhodes each had shots in the first half that were either off the mark or saved by Gawron, a senior captain.
11 minutes into the game, the home Terriers scored what proved to be the game-winner when Sohan Salian broke the scoreless tie with a goal after getting an assist from Jason Nadeau.
Rocky Hill head coach Paul Horta said that the first goal relaxed his team, allowing his Terriers to play loose for the final 70 minutes.
“I thought we took a big step forward today,” stated Horta. “This is the first [game] that for 80 minutes we gave 100% the whole time.”
The Raptors best chance for the equalizer came late in the first half when Cooper Halotek hit the post on a penalty kick in the 37th minute.
On a later attack, Thruman Brodeur had a shot send back and Michael Thatford’s follow was also rejected.
“We weren’t dangerous enough in the final third [of the field],” Bell said of the missed opportunities.
Shot attempts were not as fruitful in the second half for RHAM, who played with the wind for the first half before battling against the stiff breeze over the final 40 minutes.
Endi Bregu gave the Terriers a 2-0 cushion with seven minutes left in regulation when he blasted a left-footed shot after getting a pass from Austin Murawski.
Despite letting up a pair of goals, RHAM senior captain goalie Erik Buden was able to swat away several shots to keep the Raptors within striking distance.
Buden made diving save on point blank shots by Murawski and Zaim Gustur midway through the second half to keep the deficit to one-score prior to Bregu's insurance goal.
RHAM entered McVicar Field in Rocky Hill having won their previous two games, beating E.O. Smith 3-2 and East Hartford 1-0.
Bell said defensive pressure was the key in the two wins.
A day after losing to Rocky Hill, the Raptors took down the Eagles of East Catholic. Connolly scored on a penalty kick in the first half and Halotek added goal in the 58th minute with an assist from Sementa.
Buden registered his fifth shutout in goal, saving four shots.
Next up is the Class L tournament, starting Monday, Nov. 7th.
Bell reiterated that his team will need to play an entire game to be competitive in the state tourney, adding, “This group is building, but I’d like to see us put 80 minutes together.”
For a complete list of times and location for all state tournament action, visit ciacsports.com.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin