The Comet season is marked by two losses that guided their progress as they look to playoffs. Falling in their first game with a shutout by Bemidji, the rematch earlier this week saw Hillcrest pack their gym bags with a score of 6-3 hanging over their heads. Bemidji is a mountain the Comets must climb at some point this season. Their 6-1 win yesterday in the first round of playoffs marks a team picking up steam.
With 2 of their 4 losses on the season happening this week, the Comets were quick to control the game and right their course. After five minutes of the Comets controlling the ball, their defense pushing the ball up the field against Walker/Hackensack/Akeley/Cass Lake/Bena (WHA), Senior Tri-Captain set-up on the outside after a WHA foul.
Sophomore Nick Foss set the ball and walked back to set up his pass. After assessing the field, Foss started his stride at the ball. While Foss was walking-off steps for his kick, Young Ju Yoo was setting up his defender. Shifting his shoulders, Yoo broke free of the WHA defenders, finding the right-side of the field open. Foss' kick found Yoo darting to the goal, where Yoo's strike stunned the keeper, who was standing flat footed as he watched the ball skip on grass to the lower left side of the net.
The Comets set in to a series of volleys over the next ten minutes. Consistent control of the ball, cutting off WHA passes on defense, left Comet goal tender Bobby Schultz on his toes without much action as the Comets set the pace for the game.
At the 14 minute mark Hillcrest found the back of the net on a one touch shot to the right post. Abdony Sokiri lasered the shot into the net off a loft from the left side by Yoo. 17 minutes later, Yoo found his second goal of the afternoon from a pass by HeeTae Nam.
The Comets dug up the field on WHA's side for most of the first half. Setting the tone was important for them in their first playoff game. After scoring his second goal at the 31 minute mark, Yoo worked to put the game out of reach. Yoo has played with most of Hillcrest's recently successful teams and watched his friends score goal after goal in their march through playoffs. Taking his turn on the team, Yoo set up for teammate Tommy Thompson's corner kick. Another perennial player who is in his final season as a Comet, looking to take his turn in leading Hillcrest's successful soccer program through playoffs.
The two Captains made their playoff statement with Thompson's corner kick. Setting the ball on the sideline, Tommy is known in the area for expertly placing the ball in front of the net. As his strike on the ball soared time seemed to stand still. Yoo leapt, almost simultaneously as Thompson kicked from the corner. WHA's goalie shuffled to receive the ball as he watched it soar past defenders and attackers on its way to Yoo, who headed the ball past the outstretched hands of WHA's goalie. The 4-0 score put the game out of reach as the Comets continued to control the game.
Yoo would go on to score a 4th goal in the contest, and Shantanu Mallick put one past WHA to give HIllcrest the 6-1 victory. The Comets outshot WHA 19-7 on the afternoon.
At 13-4, the Comets advance to the Section 8A quarterfinals vs. Detroit Lakes at 1pm on Saturday at Danielsen Field at Hillcrest Academy.