Opening the inside of his foot, Eivind Fluge placed a precision shot inside the left post six minutes into Tuesday afternoon's game in Minnewaska. The Junior phenom from Norway is part of Hillcrest's balanced attack that likes to score early and establish a tempo. Teams have been unable to counter this season, and Minnewaska is no exception.
Great passing is a hallmark of Hillcrest's soccer teams this year. Both the boys and girls are making strong statements over the past few weeks that has fans excited. Peter Taule and Jordan Foss assisted Fluge and Marcus Hagen in the first 10 minutes of Tuesday's game. Foss' assist was an arching throw-in from the sidelines that saw Hagen one-time a blast from the left foot. The shot was taken at the eighteen line, showing that great passing sets up great shots that aren't typical of high school soccer.
At the 27 minute mark Joey Coronado, a member of Hillcrest's team with the school's cooperative partnership with Pelican Rapids, placed a winding corner kick inside the box. Fellow Pelican Rapids player Zakaria Mohamud snuck his foot in to guide the curling kick into the net. A corner kick from Danny Martinez gave Hillcrest a 4-0 lead before the half after Brian Villagommes rose above the crowd to use his head in the quick goal.
Hillcrest emerged in the second half with greater attention to managing the ball. Precison passes marked quick movements from defense to offense as Hillcrest marched to another shutout victory. Fifty minutes into the game Hillcrest added their fifth goal. A long pass from Zakaria led Eivind Fluge to the goal for his second put-away of the day. Seventeen minutes later, Junior Max Scott avoided a series of defenders as he darted along the right side of the field. His speed enabled put him in a place to launch a laser shot to the goal. The ball deflected off the keeper's fingers and veered to the feet of Senior Jorgen Scott who tapped the ball into the net, putting the Comets up 6-0. Ten minutes later Sophomore Tommy Thompson ran to the corner flag and placed the ball inside the marker lines. Gauging the play of the defense, Thompson hauled-out and bent his cornerkick pass into the box. With the defense screened, Ato Hashi soared above teammates who were boxing-out defenders to head-in the corner kick and end scoring for the game.
Hillcrest's dominance this season is a work of tight cohesive play from the back line. Communication is a definitive mark for Coach Rod Jensen's team. Rumor has it that players are only allowed to substitute-in if they know the name and face of the player they are replacing. Long bus rides and specifically designed drills in practice enable the team to build relationships and comradarie, a difficult thing for a boarding school soccer team with players from nearly every continent.
The impressive task of building teamwork showed in Tuesday night's game as Hillcrest outshot the Minnewaska Lakers 21-4. The defense did their job in allowing a minimal number of shots to reach goal keeper Juan Franco, who recorded his fourth shutout of the season in as many games. At 4-0, Hillcrest takes to the road again for a Thursday matchup vs. conference rival Crookston.