The Hammond Skyhawks got four goals in the first half and one in the second en route to a 5-nil win over the Ben Lippen Falcons Tuesday, April 18.
“I’m very pleased overall,” Hammond head coach Adrian Pinasco. “I didn’t like the way it ended. They lost composure, and we should have been able to keep our heads in the game and forget about everything else. That’s always a challenge.
“The challenge is we’ve seen Ben Lippen play several times. We look at their weapons, their strategy, and the way they want to attack us. We tried to have an answer. I’m pleased that it worked. The other challenge was to start early and strong. We were able to score early, and then we got the momentum and kept going. That was the plan, and it worked.
“I was pleased with the response early. It’s a good win in the region. It puts us in second place. It’s a good performance from us.”
While Hammond provided the scoring, Ben Lippen grabbed the early momentum. In the seventh minute, Benjamin Castor blasted a shot, but it sailed over the Skyhawks’ goal.
Four minutes later, Will McQueen slipped past a pair of Falcon defenders and poked a shot past keeper Harrison Bolin for a 1-nil lead.
Then Hammond scored goals in a flurry. In the 19th minute, Alexander Garside launched a free kick from near midfield that sailed into the goal for a 2-nil lead.
A minute later, Ab El Geneidy scored in the low right corner to extend the Skyhawks’ lead.
The final goal of the half came in the 23rd minute when Hammond’s Franz Grimm stole a ball and shot a floater into the net for a 4-nil lead.
“Early in the season we were kicking a lot of long balls, and that didn’t give us a lot of opportunities,” Pinasco said. “We watched a lot of film. We trained a lot. We worked a lot on that part of the game. We realized if we want to get back to the state championship match, playing like that wasn’t going to work. So we sat down and watched film and worked hard on controlling our game. We wanted to use the wings and create space. I feel in the first half they were able to do that. I liked it.”
The Skyhawks were able to tack on one more goal in the second half when Erwann Monnett received a corner kick. His initial header was deflected, but his rebound shot sneaked into the goal.
With the win, Hammond improves to 4-6 overall and 3-1 in SCISA Region 1-4A.
“I’m not looking at the standings right now. It’s a good win because it puts us in a good spot,” Pinasco said. “I’m looking farther down the road. Later competition is going to be harder and harder. Of course I want to win, but how are we winning? Are we using what we work on in practice? Or are we just doing whatever and end up finding a goal? It’s a huge difference to me.
“Every opponent is different. We prepare different things, and we try to execute. That part is huge for me. Today I feel like we had a plan; we executed properly, and it worked out well. I’m happy for the players. That is motivation that what we are working on during practice and is working in the game.”
Ben Lippen falls to 6-8 overall and 2-6 in the region.
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