Neuqua Valley “buzzes” past Waubonsie Valley
Updated: September 6, 2011 9:39PM
Offensively, Neuqua Valley was buzzing and defensively the Wildcats hung on by their claws for a 1-0 victory Tuesday over visiting Waubonsie Valley.
“We’ve really been working on buzzing our opponents,” Neuqua’s Kevin Skrip said in explaining the Wildcats’ triumph only to be asked to clarify the “buzz” word “That means guy after guy going at them, applying as much continuous offensive pressure as possible so they’d make a mistake. Our team did a great job of buzzing and when Ryan (Ross) got it, I back-pedaled and he gave me a great through ball and I just buried it.”
That goal came in the 34th minute of an opening half that was the start of a disappointing performance for Warrior boss Angelo DiBernardo. Since capturing the season opener, Waubonsie Valley went winless in three Best of the West Tournament matches and coupled with an 0-1-0 start to Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division play, the losing streak is now at four heading into a Saturday non-conference visit to Naperville North.
“Defensively, we were sent the wrong message right off the bat in the first half,” DiBernardo said. “Not only did they create more chances, but they won every 50-50 ball and they went to the ball with much more intensity. They denied us space and it was as if we don’t like to mix it up. We’re playing too soft.
“We’re young, but we need to understand that we have to play much harder. If we continue this route, we’re not going to win too many games,” DiBernardo added. “I thought our goalkeeper (Jordan Ward) played pretty well. He made some key saves in the first half to keep us in the game.”
It marked the fourth straight contest decided by a single goal for Neuqua Valley which improved to 3-2-1 and rebounded from a frustrating 2-1 loss to York in end the Best of the West tourney.
“We did enough today to get a goal and then hung on,” Neuqua Valley coach Tony Kees said. “We had a bit more jump today and we kept our shape pretty well defensively. I’m also pleased that some guys in new positions settled in and didn’t look out of place.
“Ryan making his first varsity start was really good at buzzing, making the other team rush thanks to quick feet,” Kees added. “Combine his energy with all that, plus he saw Kevin cutting across the box and set him up nicely for a left-footed shot to the corner.”
Waubonsie Valley did its share of pressuring the Wildcat cage late in the match and with 1:53 left in regulation, the Warriors thought they had a header for an equalizer only to be whistled offside.
“The last 15 minutes they were really in our end and we had some trouble clearing the ball,” Neuqua Valley goalie Hunter Hollingshead admitted. “I saw their player and the ball and thought it would be offside, but we can’t have guys run free like that at any point.”