Varsity soccer off to strong start
This edition of the Block Island Hurricanes Varsity Soccer team is relatively young, with no seniors, but this hasn’t stopped them from another strong 5-1-1 start. This has been accomplished by a lot of returning players and an influx of several strong freshman. In the seven league games so far, the ‘Canes have outscored their opponents 30 goals to six.
The season started against a strong Times Two side which turned out to be a defensive struggle and a 0-0 tie. The next game was a win at home with Block Island scoring three goals against Barrington Christian Academy’s one. The next weekend brought the remnants of Hurricane Irma which postponed the Friday game against Oxford. Fortunately, the seas calmed down enough for the team to travel to Narragansett to play Middlebridge. They channeled their namesake and overwhelmed Middlebridge 9-0.
On a rare mid-week make-up game against Oxford, the ‘Canes lost 3-2. Even in the loss the team played well, especially in the second half coming from a 2-0 deficit to score two goals in the second half, demonstrating the never-give-up attitude Block Island teams are known for.
On Friday, the ‘Canes travelled to BCA and in a tough rematch came away with a come-from-behind 3-2 win. The team had several days to rest since there was no game on Saturday allowing many to recover from injuries.
The past weekend resulted in two dominating performances against Grove and Middlebridge. The team travelled on Friday to Grove where they played most of the game in the offensive half of the field and it resulted in a 7-0 win. The next day against Middlebridge was another strong team effort and resulted in a 6-1 win.
Captains David Barillas (junior), Fiona Crawford (junior), and Mathias Heinz (sophomore) have provided strong leadership to promote the best effort from everyone on the team.
This version of the Hurricanes has been a total team effort. In the offensive half, there have been 10 different players who have scored for this team, which makes it extremely challenging for their opponents to stop them. The offensive players are: Captains Barillas and Heinz, Jostin Blanco (junior), Julia Gasner (junior), Maya Veldman-Wilson (junior), Gerson Hernandez (junior), Patrick McNerney (sophomore), Daniel Cullen (freshman), Stephanie Rich (freshman), and Tim Connor (freshman).
Equally impressive is the stellar defensive performance of the team, only surrendering six goals (0.86 goals/game) with three shutouts, behind first year Varsity goalkeeper Noah McCabe (sophomore) and a strong back line consisting of Captain Crawford, Danny Reyes (junior), Mary Conant (junior), Ruby Crawford (sophomore), Hernandez, and Cole McGinnes (freshman).
Controlling the central midfield with both defensive work and providing excellent through passes and getting the ball wide have been Barillas, Gasner, and Conant. Wide midfielders Heinz, Cullen, and Connor have provided both devastating crosses and finishes. Great effort has also been demonstrated by forwards Blanco, Veldman-Wilson, McNerney, and Rich.