MONROE The weather outside may have been ugly, but the play on the field certainly was not.
The Monroe High School boys soccer team defeated Piscataway 5-0 on a chilly, rainy Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Falcons improved to 4-0 on the season and are already on pace to match last season’s success.
The Falcons had numerous opportunities early in the game but, despite taking shot after shot on goal, they were unable to get one in the back of the net.
With about 17 minutes to play in the first half, senior Alex Fernandez was taken down in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. He took advantage of the opportuniy and buried the ball in the back of the net.
“It’s good to start off with an easy goal like that,” Fernandez said. “We had a lot of chances in the first 10 minutes, and we probably should have scored before then.”
The penalty kick must have been a spark for the Falcons, because one minute later they scored again, this time on a breakaway goal from Danny Reyes. Chris Katerba then scored on an empty net minutes before the half expired.
It was 3-0 at that point, but Monroe was not ready to pull back on the throttle.
“We have to keep our foot on the gas pedal,” senior back Justin Armorer said. “We don’t drop off at all.”
The second half saw many substitutions for the Falcons, but they were just as productive as the starters. The highlight of the game was a goal from Matt Mischler, who scored from about 30 yards out.
The Falcons’ defense played a spectacular game. The Chiefs didn’t have many opportunities to challenge it too often, but when they did, the Monroe backline quickly got the ball back to the offense.
“The defense has been outstanding all season,” Monroe coach Steven Mackenzie said. “This wasn’t anything different for us.”
Possession played a key role in the game as the Falcons consistently possessed the ball, which meant they controlled the tempo and flow of the game.
“Whenever we get the ball, we give the ball back to the offense as quick as we can,” Armorer said. “We want the midfielders and attackers to get the ball so they can do what they need to do to win the game.”
The cohesion between offense and defense was very fluid, and Fernandez thought the defensive players were the true stars of the game.
“It’s massive,” Fernandez said. “We can’t do what we do without them.”
Staff writer Daniel LoGiudice: firstname.lastname@example.org