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Hopewell U14 Boys Soccer Team Shines Bright After Initial Setback

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After giving up a lead and experiencing a heartbreaking loss in their opening game against Riverside, the Hopewell U14 Boys soccer team has turned the tide and won their last two games outscoring their opponents, 11-3. The team has shown significant improvement and balance in both offense and defense, earning well-deserved victories against Clarion and Laurel.

In their first win of the season, the Hopewell U14 Boys took the field at Tony Dorsett Stadium and for a lot of the players, this was only their second time playing on turf while still adapting to play on a 11v11 field. Hopefully the boys were able to take it all in and realize that in a few short years, they will be playing on the same field when they make their way to the high school.

The Hopewell team wasted no time seizing the opportunity and started scoring early against Laurel.

The first goal of the game came when Kaleb Gonzalez found Ty Whitaker for an early goal. The next goal came from Owen Grantz and credit also to Dylan Ankrom, who came up big with the assist. Kaiden Bradford also played a crucial role in orchestrating the team’s attacking moves and delivering two assists, one of which was a beautiful pass to his brother, Aziah Bradford. Kaiden’s last assist of the game came when he was able to connect with Dylan, who also displayed his scoring ability with a breakaway run that led to him scoring during the second half of the game. Kaiden also took the opportunity to show his ability to score on a rebound shot.

Despite a spirted comeback attempt by Clarion, the Hopewell defense held firm, denying their opponents any further opportunities to score with the final score of Hopewell 5- Clarion 2.

This past Sunday, Hopewell’s U14 Boys then took on Laurel at the Hopewell Soccer Club Complex. In that game, their impressive offense continued.

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Getting Hopewell on the scoreboard first was Kaleb Gonzalez, who got the assist from Ty Whitaker. Gonzalez went on to score two more goals on the day. Meanwhile, Dylan Ankrom had another great game, scoring two goals and an assist for Hopewell. The Bradford brothers continued to look for each other on offense, with Kaiden finding the back of the net off an assist from Aziah.

Final Score for this match ended up being Hopewell 6- Laurel 1.

One thing that’s obvious is that Hopewell has embraced the importance of their defensive roles, recognizing that a solid defense is key in the game of soccer. This is a very young team, and a lot of the players are playing multiple positions and learning about the game. Gabriel Gold, Owen Gratz and Kaiden Bradford are rotating in goal, and they are becoming very sold in the net.

Other defenders are stepping up in their role of shutting down the opposing offense and are learning to come together in the back quite well. Blake Mowry, Adam Ungvarsky, Chase Ingre, Joshua Liptak, Aiden Benard led by Desmond Sembower are rotating between midfield and defense. Over the last two games, this solid defense has led to Hopewell only allowing 3 combined goals.

Next game for the 12U boys will be against Grove City on April 28th at 1:15 PM on Service Creek Road.

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