Hobbton’s boys put a better foot forward Thursday night against county rival Union than they did a night earlier versus Trask, taking down the home-playing Spartans 4-1.
While Union coach David Ameen cited continued injuries as the biggest problem for his Spartan boys, he also noted the great play of Hobbton.
“Anytime you have one of these in-county rivalry games, both teams come out with a lot of spirit. That was true of both teams tonight, Hobbton just had a better overall night. They are a good team, Ameen stressed.
Wildcat coach Bryan Martinez agreed. “The teams have a lot more spirit when it’s a county rivalry. It’s more intense and, really, more interesting.”
Martinez said his team played much better against Union than they had the night before. “Way better is how they played. They were communicating much better, moving the ball better. I was far more pleased with them tonight.”
Hobbton scored 3 of its goals in the first half and the final goal in the second period. Eber Gomez got the hat trick, scoring 3 goals, and the fourth goal game from Efrin Belardo.
Union scored its goal in the second half, when Chayenne Lopez made a penalty kick, about 19 minutes into the period.
The Spartans were fouled inside the box and Ameen opted to put left-footed kicker Lopez in for the PK, a move, he said, that paid off. “Sometimes a left-footed player is harder for the goalie to read, so we put Chayenne in and he came through for us. He put it right where it needed to be.”
But Ameen said injuries still were a problem for Union.
The Spartans, still banged up, Ameen said, just need to get healthy so they can get back to playing the soccer he knows they are capable of playing. “We’re still battling quite a few injuries. Ian (Benetiz) played some Thursday, but his knee was still bothering him.”
Ameen said the Spartans played good offensively, moving the ball well. “They were working it, with a lot of give and go; they executed well but they just couldn’t seem to finish when they would get in that soccer red zone.”
Hobbton, first in the Tri-County Conference, remains perfect at 4-0. Overall they are 6-2. They travel to Lakewood for another county matchup Monday.
Union travels to Trask Monday. Both games begin at 5 p.m.