On 11/11/12, a beautiful November afternoon, the Hillsborough Explosion, the boys U12 soccer team, took the field against the Princeton Porto, a tough opponent and came away with a hard-fought 2-0 win.
After a cagey start to the game between two evenly matched teams, Tommy Ramsey dribbled the ball out of defense, and fed the right midfielder Aidan Gray, who in turn passed it out to Dennio Jelenkovic on the wing. Seeing the speedy forward Michael Golankiewicz in a one-on-one with the Porto defender, Dennio Jelenkovic played a lovely weighted pass in behind the defense, and Golankiewicz sped along the right wing before cutting inside and shooting past the advancing goalkeeper to give the Explosion a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.
To preserve the lead, the Explosion midfield was ably marshalled by Alexander “Jake” Ford in the center, along with Justin Dominique, and on the sides by Jamie Moni and Karan Mahesh. It stayed 1-0 to the Explosion until half time.
At the start of the second half, Porto came out fully revved up in search of an equalizer. Scott Bandola, Marcelo Denegri, Michael Fazio, and Tommy Ramsey played tough defense, refused to give ground and limited Porto’s attempts on goal. With each team trying to gain the upper hand, and control the match in the middle of the field, a quick break out of defense by the Explosion saw Jamie Moni dribble the ball up the line, and after skipping by a few tackles, fed the ball to Kenan Yahi, who demonstrated excellent ball control as he raced toward goal, playing a give and go with Christian Smith, only to be fouled by the defender on his way toward the goal.
Tommy Ramsey stood behind the ball, outside the box, and with a powerfully-placed direct free-kick, the ball flew into the top right hand corner of the goal for a 2-0 lead to the Explosion. With a bit of luck, Explosion’s leading scorer Justin Dominique might have had a goal or two, but it was not to be his day. In spite of some terrific attempts on goal, the Porto keeper was able to parry his attempts away.
Explosion goalkeeper Jack Renz proved too strong for Porto’s offense, rejecting all shots on goal to record his second clean sheet of the season.
All in all an excellent team performance by team Explosion.