Ravens fly high over WACO in season opener

By Giovanni Coronel
Posted 4/12/24


This early spring weather continues to throw curve balls.  

The Ravens were expected to start their soccer season on the road against WACO, but poor field conditions called for …

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Ravens fly high over WACO in season opener



This early spring weather continues to throw curve balls. 

The Ravens were expected to start their soccer season on the road against WACO, but poor field conditions called for an audible. WACO became the road team and Hillcrest became the home team. 

In front of their home crowd the Ravens began their year in the win column, defeating the Warriors, 4-0, last on April 4.

The Ravens shut out the Warriors and held the lead for almost the entire game. Hillcrest scored three times in the first half and scored one more insurance goal in the second. 

Scoring a team high two goals was sophomore Rowan Miller and originally, he planned to arrive and play in only the second half, but the spring weather had other plans. 

“Rowan had two goals and you know, he would have been at a golf meet tonight, but fortunately that was canceled,” Hillcrest coach Marcus Miller said with a laugh. 

Miller scored his first goal with about 10 minutes left in the first half. An off-balanced long distance shot that found the net, his goal put the Raven’s up 3-0 before halftime.

“It was crossed in, and I couldn’t tell if it’s for me or not. So, I got a quick touch and then I kicked,” Miller said about his first goal of the game, “It turned out to be upper 90. I fell down, I didn’t even see it go in.”  

“It was a wicked shot,” coach Miller said. 

Wicked indeed, and Miller continued his scoring ways in the second half. 

Controlling a pass close to the net, Miller was able to stay focused and send the ball right past the keeper who was mere inches from Miller. 

“It was a through ball and then I was able to get a touch on it and get past the center back, and then from there I just kicked it and ran in the keeper,” Miller said about his second goal.” 

The four goals Hillcrest scored is a tremendous improvement when compared to last year when WACO was able to hold them to zero points on the scoreboard.  

“I was really happy with how they came out, and we got the first goal relatively early,” coach Miller said about his team’s offensive effort. “And that just helps settle a lot of nerves, because last year we had a hard time scoring and against this team in particular.”

Scoring Hillcrest’s first goal of the game and the season was junior Seth Ours. Ours scored with about 29 minutes left in the first half. This goal was a confidence booster for the team.  

“Seth came from a defensive mid spot, and we had talked, when we scrimmaged, they were sitting back too far,” coach Miller said. “So, we talked about how they had to be a little more aggressive. He got the ball and went through and created that really nice chance and finished and did a really nice job.”

About 15 minutes later Micah Gerber scored his first goal of the season. In addition to his goal, he also ended the game with one assist. Delivering a team high two assists was Jesse Blossom. 

Hillcrest goalkeeper Kyle Neuschwander had a clean sheet and ended the day with five saves. 

“We struggled [on offense] last year. Defensively, I feel pretty good about our guys, we’ve got a lot of experience,” coach Miller said. “We’ve been spending a lot of time in practice working on shooting drills, just offensive possession things, trying to create chances.”

Hillcrest 2, Central Lee 1

Hillcrest kept rolling at home in their second game of the season, defeating the Central Lee Hawks in overtime on April 8. 

After a scoreless first half, both the Ravens and the Hawks each scored a goal to tie the game at 1-1 and this score stayed knotted up until time ran out. 

Three minutes into OT, Hillcrest scored the golden goal to end the game and achieve their second straight victory. 

Scoring one goal each for Hillcrest was freshman Isaac Beachy and junior Jesse Blossom. Beachy scored the first goal, the first of his varsity career, and Blossom scored the winning goal in OT. Both Micah Gerber and Mason Swartzendruber recorded one assist in the win. 

The defensive back line of Mason Helmuth, Lincoln Miller, Angel Sambrano, Bryce Bailey, and Isaac Birky were able to limit Central Lee’s offense all game long. Kyle Neuschwander started as goalie, making one save in the first half, but helped on offense in the second half, leading to Andrew Kaufman to play goalie and Kaufman ended the game with five saves. 

Up next for Hillcrest (2-0) is a road game against Burlington Notre Dame (0-2) on April 12.