Looking for its first win of the year, the St. Anne’s-Belfield boys soccer team couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start Tuesday afternoon against Fork Union, giving up a goal to the Blue Devils’ Henry Branscome eight minutes in.
That has been a familiar refrain for the Saints on this young season. What followed, however, was different from STAB’s previous three games.
“It’s unfortunately been a season theme,” STAB head coach Phil Barr said. “We’re trying to break that habit. It was good that we showed some character and fought back and won.”
The Saints answered FUMA’s goal with three of their own in the first half, including two right before halftime to carry the momentum into the break, and got a balanced offensive effort in a 4-2 win. All four of STAB’s goals were scored by different players.
Trailing 1-0 in the 28th minute, Gianni Maltese found the back of the net with a beautiful free kick to pull the Saints even. Less than 10 minutes later, Joe Heaphy gave STAB a lead it wouldn’t relinquish when he made a nice run, took a through-ball from Danny Lauterbach, and scored to make it 2-1.
Sam Kim made the halftime margin 3-1 with a tally of his own less than a minute before the break. STAB outshot the Blue Devils 6-3 in the first half.
“We’d been working really hard in practice, and in games have come close,” Barr said. “We just haven’t gotten those goals when we need them in past games. Today we did.”
The Saints extended their lead to 4-1 eight minutes into the second half courtesy of Jack Quagliaroli, who finished off the balanced performance by STAB’s attack.
“The more players we can get on the score sheet, the better,” Barr said. “It spreads the attack out and doesn’t give defenses one player to focus on.”
Meanwhile, Fork Union’s attack was largely shut down after the first goal. After halftime, the Blue Devils were limited to three shots–one was Drew Hawley’s finish off a rebound in the waning minutes to make the score look a little better. However, much of the second half took place on STAB’s offensive side of the field.
The Saints return to action Friday against Virginia Episcopal. Fork Union will take on Blue Ridge on Thursday.