Hillcrest FC 4 – 10 Jesus Maneuver
’20 Jake Mailhot
’34 Colton DeBruin
’42 Grady Dillon
’50 Grady Dillon
The 2013 season got off to a rough start for Hillcrest FC on Monday night as they dropped their opening match against Jesus Maneuver by a score of 4-10. The goals came early and often for Jesus Maneuver. They scored five unanswered points before Jake Mailhot scored Hillcrest’s first goal off a corner kick taken by Tim Knipp. The two teams went into halftime with the score at 6-1. After making a few adjustments, Hillcrest played much more competitively in the second half. Hillcrest broke through in the 34th minute when Colton DeBruin scored his first goal of the season off a rebound at the top of the box. Hillcrest would score again just eight minutes later after a strong buildup in the offensive half led to a goal by Grady Dillon. Finally, in the last seconds of the game, Grady Dillon would score again, this time a crack shot that rebounded off the far post and into the net.
It was a tale of two halves for Hillcrest FC. The first half was very rough with many of the players shaking off the rust. Amazingly, it was the first time many of them had played together as a team. That inexperience showed as they struggled to hold any possession and let a number of Jesus Maneuver players have open shots on goal. At one point, midfielder, Carlo Furlan could be heard shouting, “Let’s get just three passes together!” There was certainly a difference in fitness between the two teams. Starting centerback, Geoff Mumley said, “It seemed like they always had a guy open in the middle of the field. They would make these long, beautiful runs and we couldn’t keep up.”
The second half saw a marked improvement in the play of Hillcrest. The defense seemed better organized and was able to close down quicker on Jesus Maneuver chances. On offense, Hillcrest was able to maintain possession long enough to create real chances that lead to three goals. The deficit was too large to overcome however. Coach Tim Knipp had this to say about his team’s performance, “Obviously the first half didn’t go the way we wanted, but I thought the second half was very encouraging.”
The player of the game was Grady Dillon with his two goals. They both came after the game was out of hand but the skill shown was a rare bright spot for Hillcrest. Carlo Furlan quickly became a vocal leader for Hillcrest both on and off the field. His shouts could be heard throughout the stadium as he encouraged and admonished his teammates.
Hillcrest FC plays next on Saturday, March 16 against Centro de Adoracion Vida on their home pitch, Puma Field. In this battle of cellar dwellers look for Hillcrest to make adjustments on defense, perhaps even shaking up the starting lineup. Hopefully they will be able to build upon the growth they showed during the second half on Monday.