2012 Game Recaps
West Chester Henderson Labor Day Tournament Recap--Rodrigo Nogales
The stage was set months ago for the annual West Chester Henderson Labor Day Tournament, but this time the host team matched themselves up against Radnor High School. On the other side, Malvern Prep and Perkiomen Valley played for a chance to challenge the winner in the championship game. In Radnor’s first battle, Henderson’s Anthony Daniele got baseline with his speed and deception and slipped a cross for a Henderson forward to finish with ease from the 6-yard line. But the Raiders stayed behind not long, as just ten minutes later Defender Kevin Cox utilized a quick long throw to a streaking Chris Martin, Radnor’s speedy striker. A defender was left in the dust, as another one fell to the ground, preceding a pass from Martin to the bottom right corner of the goal to tie the game at 1-1. In the early stages of the second half (just under a minute in), Daniele netted another goal capitalizing off a Radnor botched clear and then dribbling through a few of the Radnor defenders for his second tally of the night. Henderson seemed to be content at that moment with the lead. But in similar fashion, Radnor’s Chris Martin received, and turned a pretty pass from Senior Matt Pelton, outrunning the defenders and then passing yet another ball into the back of the net, this time to the goalkeeper's near side. Radnor gained momentum and kept that momentum winning the 50/50s in Henderson’s defensive half and then applying pressure in the attack. Then, with just eight minutes left on the clock, Radnor super-sub Sam Hurley collected a simple pass from forward Ryan Cutler after Cutler scrapped for the second ball off of Matt Lundstrom’s driven free kick service. Hurley collected the simple pass from Cutler and drove a beautiful left-footed 25-yard shot that ricocheted off the top of the left upper post and in. Radnor would hold on to the 3-2 lead with great defensive shape and scrappiness advancing to the championship game. Radnor’s goalkeeper, Wesley Dickson, ended the game with six vital saves.
In the championship game, Radnor would find themselves in the ring with Perkiomen Valley, a solid squad with a formidable offense. The first strike, however, would lie with Radnor. After receiving the ball near the offensive end of the center circle, forward Chris Martin evaded a few defenders with a sneaky run to the right corner. Martin played a swinging right-footed cross, which found the head of diving Senior Adam Erkis, and found the back of the net quickly. Not long after, Perkiomen stud Drew Vernon swiped a mis-struck ball from the Radnor defense, which led to a goal at the other end. But in the same half, Radnor Midfield beast Tyler Helms won a great ball at center-field and found Martin forward, who, after a quick move, stroke a rocket that slipped right through the Perk Valley keeper’s hands. Prior, the goalkeeper had already seemed rattled, possibly attributed to the Radnor rowdy cheering section comprised of just five students, whose raucous could have passed them for thirty. But with just twelve minutes left in the second half, Vernon made a creative off ball run and scored off a rebound from his own fast break shot to send the match into overtime. Just eight minutes into OT, a cross field long ball from Senior Centerback Kevin Riley found Chris Martin streaking to the left corner. Martin cut the ball back and calmly played a drop pass the co-captain Centermid Peter Donato. Donato made a quick move into a searing shot, which was blocked by the Perk Val goalkeeper but a rebound returned to the 3 yard line. Radnor Forward Nico Pelaez’s awareness and positioning found him on the doorstep to knock home the rebound and game winning goal in the first sudden death overtime to give the Gents the 3-2 win. Dickson would have five saves throughout the contest, and Radnor would move on to a 2-0 record and champion the West Chester Henderson Tournament.
-- Erin Reid
Tuesday afternoon the Radnor boy’s soccer team finished their first Central League game against Lower Merion with a hard-fought tie. Going into two scoreless ten-minute overtimes, the boys had to settle with the 0-0 score. With a new and experienced head coach in place for the start of the 2012 season, things are certainly looking bright for the future of this team.
After being named number five in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s “Southeastern PA’s Top 10”, Lower Merion went into the game with a new, perhaps unprecedented level of confidence. Radnor’s head coach Joe Caruolo had a few things to say in response to Radnor’s slow start to the game: “The boys played cautiously in the beginning due to Lower Merion’s powerhouse reputation.” However, although they may have been off to a tentative start, the boys really put it into gear towards the end of the first half showing LM that they would not surrender to such a reputation.
With 19 returning seniors, the team not only has demonstrated a true sense of unity, but also has seriously displayed just how experienced they are on the field. Speaking with Matt Lundstrom after the game allowed me to get an inside look at just how “together” the team really is. “We made our mark that we are a team of warriors.”
When asked about what to look forward to in the upcoming games, senior co-captain Chris Martin had much to say:”We’re looking strong this year and playing well as a team defensively and offensively.”
One thing is for sure this season; the Gents are ready to leave it all on the field. Check out this team of warriors at their next game as they go head to head with Upper Darby.
Radnor ‘Gents’ Shine Against Conestoga
-- Erin Reid
Tuesday night the Radnor Boys soccer team did it again, coming up big with a huge win over arch-rival Conestoga. In what was one of the most intense and exciting games, the boys showed true passion and heart all the way through. The final score of the game was 1-0, the only goal being scored by senior tri-captain Chris Martin 10 minutes into the second half.
At the foot of head Coach Caruolo, who went into the game believing “We have nothing to lose. When you’re up against a team like that you just have to play your absolute best and show you want it more.” The boys did just that. When asked what the team did prior to the game, the two jokesters on the team, Martin and Lundstrom did not give away any secrets of their pregame rituals; “We were actually testing out the locker room…we’ve never seen one before.”
It is true the team played outstandingly, but they definitely had a little help from the incredible turnout in the Radnor fan section. “It was so loud, sometimes I had trouble hearing Coach”, Nico Pelaez noted. The fans were excited and wild. “It really kept us going,” Lundstrom added. Dressed for a “Black-Out”, the Radnor fans were all a unit there to cheer on these incredible athletes. According to a few of the coaches, it was the largest turn-out that they had ever seen. “The boys on the team are so personable and friendly; the whole school just wants them to do well“, offered ‘Gents’ fan Brooke Pancoast.
When asked what the team did to celebrate their crushing of a long-standing losing streak against ‘Stoga, Chris Martin elaborated on a team bonding activity, “Most of the team went to Minella’s. Not all of us but a bunch of people.” It’s refreshing to see a group of boys who are so close not only on the field, but off the field as well. Getting along with your teammates in all different settings is a definite key to success, and this group of boys definitely has that down. When asked about the team’s closeness Pelaez had one thing to say – “I would take a bullet for anyone on the team. I’m not kidding.”
Looking forward, the team recognizes that there is still a great deal of work to be done. “You know what I think…I think we are proving the Central League wrong.” TJ Mogan and Alex Dimeo addressed the fact that they are doing things together as a team that no one thought was possible before the season.
Things to look forward t Crucial game against Harriton for the number one spot in the Central league. If Radnor loses, the team could drop from 2nd place to 5th or 6th place. Needless to say, the Boys are ready to leave it all on the field.