Rocky Hill Soccer Blanks RHAM
Rocky Hill’s Endi Bergu and RHAM’s Bradley Lim pursue a ball during the Terriers 2-0 victory on Oct. 27. Bergu score a goal in the second half to put the game on ice.
Playing on a picturesque fall day at McVicar Field, Rocky Hill boys’ soccer defeated RHAM, 2-0, on Oct. 27.
Head coach Paul Horta said he was proud of how his Terriers gave maximum effort from the first whistle to the final buzzer.
“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.”
Junior forward Sohan Salian provided the Terriers an early cushion, getting a feed from fellow junior Jason Nadeau before weaving through a pair of Raptors defenders and finding the back of the net with a hard blast in the 11th minute.
“That first goal relaxes everybody and it gives you belief. It’s always good to play from an advantage,” added Horta. “Confidence is everything and they have started to believe in themselves.”
Salian’s goal was all that the Rocky Hill defense would need as senior goalie Jakub Gawron rejected every shot he faced.
Gawron, a senior captain, said the early lead upped the confidence on the back end, adding, “It makes things a lot simpler and we can play with a lot less stress.”
Playing with the lead and the wind in the second half, junior Endi Bregu added an insurance goal with an assist from senior captain Austin Murawski with seven minutes to play in regulation.
The win marked the team’s second straight home shutout, also blanking East Catholic 6-0 at Rocky Hill High School on Oct. 6.
Horta credited Gawron for not only keeping the net clean, but also sacrificing for the betterment of the team this fall.
Gawron was a field player as season ago before Horta approached him about taking over as the net minder.
Horta said Gawron responded with a simple—“Yes, coach”—and got to work in the offseason, working over in various camps and clinics over the winter and summer months.
“No one words harder than Jakub,” Horta said of his first-year goalie. “He’s a kid that is easy to root for. He cares about the team more than he cares about himself.”
Gawron made eight saves in the win over RHAM, including back-to-back stops midway through the first half when he swatted away a shot from Truman Brodeur and then swallowed up the follow by Michael Thatford.
Senior Nico DiMatteo and junior Jaiden Daigle are captaining the team with Gawron and Murawski.
Between the four captains they have the entire field covered with DiMatteo manning the middle, Murawski providing offense up front, and Daigle helping protect the backend with Gawron.
Horta said his four field generals are leading by example, influencing the younger kids with their work ethic.
“They are all 100% in. They are the hardest working kids in practice,” added Horta. “They are the first here and the last out.”
Will Ramos, the team’s fourth senior, along with a talented group of juniors and sophomore Zaim Guster round out a starting lineup that Horta believes could be dangerous once the state tourney rolls around.
“If they can approach the game like we did today, we are talented enough,” added Horta. “It’s just about playing hard for 80 minutes and sacrificing for each other.”
Gawron agrees, adding, “I think this team is very talented. I think we could get very far in the states.”
The Terriers closed last week with a win 2-1 win over Lewis Mills, earning their ninth win of the season.
Next up is the Class M state tourney, which starts Monday, Nov. 7.
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin