Hammond’s Meade Fowler scored two first half goals, and keeper James Runge fended off a Cardinal Newman rally in the second half to lead the visiting Skyhawks to a 2-1 win over the Cardinals Wednesday, April 3.
“The first game against Cardinal Newman was a very chippy game. We tried harder to keep our focus in this game,” Hammond coach Adrian Pinasco said. “We tried to get a better soccer game out of our guys than in the first game. I liked the way the team stepped on the field and their preparation. We worked on aspects of the game we didn’t perform well in the first one. I felt the boys stepped up. Cardinal Newman put a lot of pressure on us, and we were prepared for that. I’m very pleased right now.”
Fowler scored the first of his two goals in the fourth minute off a free kick from outside the box for a 1-0 Hammond lead.
In the 19th minute, he beat the Cardinal Newman defense and scored for a 2-0 Skyhawk advantage.
Cardinal Newman controlled the ball in the second half and earned a goal in the 70th minute from Max Miller.
However, two shots from Garen Presnal fell short and a shot from Palmer Dayhuff was stopped by Runge to preserve the victory.
The win gives Hammond a split in the regular season series with Cardinal Newman, but Pinasco is not sure how much it will mean in the final region standings.
“It doesn’t really mean anything,” Pinasco said. “We beat them today and possibly will end up at No. 2 in the region (SCISA Region II-3A) standings. If we had lost to them, we might still end up No. 2. It’s a great feeling, but it doesn’t mean a lot as far as the standings.”