HARWICH – The effort was there, but when the Cape Tech boys varsity soccer team hosted Upper Cape Tech on Sept. 26, the goals weren't, as both teams played to a scoreless tie in Mayflower League action.
The Crusaders—who have been having a stellar 2019 season with the exception of one early season loss—dominated much of game play, consistently moving the ball into scoring territory, but neither team was able to get past the other's defense throughout the 80 minutes of game play.
Cape Tech ultimately had four corner kicks and made 16 shots on goal, keeping Upper Cape Tech's defense hopping, and UCT goalkeeper Blake Martin busy.
“We played hard,” said Cape Tech head coach Ivan Popov. “I believe we controlled the game. We were unlucky [not] to score a goal today.”
Popov wondered whether a Monday afternoon conditioning session had left them a bit spent.
“Maybe my players were a little exhausted with conditioning on Monday,” Popov said, adding that he did have players sidelined with injuries. “You saw I've been playing up front with freshmen. They did a very good job. They missed a couple opportunities.”
Several of those opportunities, including a pass from Ricky Goncalves to Andrew Monteiro, went wide. Meanwhile, Cape Tech goalkeeper Andrew MacPhee had what was likely the play of the game when he fended off a free kick in the first half to keep the Rams off the scoreboard.
“Some of my players were holding the ball a little too long instead of releasing the ball and trying to pass to teammates,” said Popov. “But during the game it's hard to teach them what they have to do at the moment.”
Overall, however, Popov felt his team had a strong performance.
“I think the whole team played very well,” Popov said. “They played as a team. We just fell short. Best to the Upper Cape. They played very hard and well, fair. They deserved a point today. I think the result is fair for both teams.”
The following day the team traveled off-Cape to face Norfolk Aggie, coming away with a 7-2 Mayflower Small victory that got started with a 25-yard shot from Goncalves on a nice pass from Paulo Loureiro just 22 seconds into the first half.
Loureiro then made it 2-0 near the five-minute mark, with Kelsco Porter making good on a pass from Goncalves to give the Crusaders a comfy 3-0 cushion less than 10 minutes into the game. Goncalves made it 4-0 before Norfolk Aggie found its way to the scoreboard, with Cape Tech taking a commanding 4-1 lead into the half.
After the break, Loureiro completed his hat trick with two more goals, one with Goncalves on the assist and the second with Israel Campos, with Lucas Gurski netting the team's final goal of the outing.
Monday afternoon found the Crusaders at Old Townhouse Field in South Yarmouth where they faced the Sturgis Storm, coming away with a 4-3 victory that boosted their overall record to 6-1-2.
Less than a minute into game play, Goncalves scored the game's first goal, ultimately netting all four for the Crusaders, the second coming at the 26-minute mark. Lucas Gurski then came close to making it 3-0, but was stopped, just before East netted their first goal in the game.
Capitalizing on a pass from teammate Alex Tylinski, Goncalves was able to boost Tech's lead to 3-1 before the break, taking the score to 4-1 less than 10 minutes after halftime.
Though the Storm battled back to within one, the Crusaders stepped up their defensive efforts and kept Sturgis off the scoreboard, giving Cape Tech another win. The team's only loss this season came in their opener against Sturgis West. Since then the Crusaders have triumphed against Norfolk Aggie twice, South Shore Voc, Old Colony, Bristol Aggie, and now Sturgis East, with ties against Cape Cod Academy and Upper Cape Tech.
The Crusaders travel to Old Colony tomorrow (Oct. 4) for a 3:30 p.m. game, with a rematch against Sturgis West slated for Oct. 7 at Cape Tech beginning at 4 p.m.