Marcellus When the ball landed at Barak BenYehuda’s feet in front of the net after a corner kick, he thought it was almost too good to be true.
“It landed perfectly for me and I just hit it as hard as I could,” he said.
The ball sailed high, ricocheting off the crossbar above the goal. But luckily for BenYehuda and the Westhill boys soccer team, the ball bounced downwards behind Marcellus goalkeeper Ian LeFever and into the net for the game’s first goal.
That set the pace for the rest of the game Thursday night, as the Warriors relentless attacked Marcellus on offense. In the first half, the Warriors had five shots. By the end of the contest, they had 12 shots, two goals and one satisfying 2-0 victory.
“That’s been the strategy so far this year,” BenYehuda said. “We like to put the pressure on.”
And with 15 minutes left in the game, Thomas Kinsella scored from 12 yards out in what ended up being the final score of the night.
“In that situation, the ball pops out to you and sits nicely, all you’re thinking about is pounding it into the back of the net,” Kinsella said.
Even with the barrage of shots, Westhill head coach Tom Etoll credited Marcellus’ defense with stopping the Warriors. Although the Warriors shot early and often, the Mustangs didn’t give up too much, and his Etoll said his team was lucky enough to find some seams.
While the offense poured on the shots, the Westhill defense held off any threat of attack from Marcellus. The Warriors kept four back on defense, Etoll said, giving them a numbers advantage over the Mustangs forwards.
By the end of the game, Westhill only allowed a total of five shots, three in the first half and two in the second half. That combination of a ruthless offense and a rock-solid defense ended up being the necessary concoction for the Warriors win - that, and some help from the crossbar.