Written by Coach Lenny Dale
The Emerson Middle School soccer team took a short trip to Steiner School Tuesday, to play their rivals, the Stars. After an easy game last week against Plymouth Spiritus Sanctus, the kids were anticipating a tougher match, and they were not disappointed. Steiner opened the game with numerous pushes into the Emerson penalty area, especially down their left side, generating a strong shot that sailed high and to the right of the far post, and then, in the 4th minute, one that found that same corner for a 1-0 Steiner lead.
Emerson made a few adjustments, adding a bit of strength and size to that side of the defense, and height at goalie. Things improved somewhat, and when Chris Chuparkoff suggested that he drop back to add more balance to the defense, things really fell into place. Steiner struggled to push into their offensive third, while the Eagles started creating serious chances of their own. In the 10th minute, Mati Teklemariam scored from his center forward position, knotting the score. Barely a minute later, Zack Kubisiak put on a slick display of ball wizardry, dribbling around and through numerous Steiner defenders until he found himself behind the defense and one-on-one against the Steiner keeper, whom he beat handily, giving Emerson a 2-1 lead. Three minutes on, it was Henry Branch, working from the right, who extended the Eagle lead to 3-1, followed in the 20th minute by Chris working through the left side and giving Emerson the 4-1 lead they would take into intermission.
Steiner changed keepers for the second half, and was consequently much stronger in that department, but in so doing gave up their strength on their left side. Their keeper made numerous excellent saves, but the Emerson defense wasn’t seriously challenged again. In the 50th minute, Gabe Kellman finally solved the new keeper, giving the Eagles their 5-1 final margin of victory.
Emerson next faces St. Francis, whom they will host at Emerson on Tuesday, 9/29, at 4 o’clock. Thursday, 10/1, will find the Eagles back at Steiner for a scrimmage, also at 4 o’clock.