Soccer: River Rats get on the board – and the win column

The Huron soccer team kicked one into the win column on Monday evening with a solid 1-0 victory over visiting Salem in a non-league game.

“This was a very encouraging outcome for our young team following the season opener,” said Huron Coach Luis Gomez. “We were organized defensively and created many turnovers. The players were focused for the full 80 minutes of the match. As it is still very early on in the season, the group’s on-field dynamic still is and will continue to develop. However, Monday’s performance was a big step in the right direction.”

Ten minutes into the second half, sophomore Mundar Chen restarted play by taking a quick free kick and playing a ball down the line to sophomore Kantaro Inoki. Chen sprinted into the box, and after some build-up play, made a crucial pass between Salem’s defenders to senior Will Turnbull who skillfully finished Chen’s pass with his non-dominant foot, opening his goal tally for the season.

Senior Patrick Tibbets and junior Elliot Goebel split time in goal to achieve the clean sheet for the River Rats.

“Tibbets had the save of the match during the first half when he tipped a long shot attempt over the crossbar as he was backpedaling towards his goal,” Gomez said. “Goebel had two close range saves in the second half when Salem was pushing hard to tie the game.”

Senior Dante Bailey gave the high level performance you would expect from a four year varsity player, captain and All State player. He was great 1v1 defensively and organized the backline, which included seniors Jake Bernstein and Samer Yassir and sophomores Alex Sasatani and Mohammed Hammoud.

The River Rats host Greenhills at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Photos courtesy Hideaki Sano