St. Al shakes off rust, rips Irish, 6-1
[11/14/01]The St. Aloysius Flashes showed some of the rust of a team that’s only had one full day of practice in Tuesday’s opener against Greenville-St. Joe, but Michael Head’s game looked polished.
Head scored four goals, including three in the second half, to lead St. Al to a 6-1 win. Patrick Sadler and John Theobald also scored for the Flashes, who avenged a loss to the Irish in last season’s opener.
“It was just luck. The midfielders giving me the ball, people planting me the ball,” Head said.
Although the game wasn’t close, the Flashes weren’t happy with the way they played. St. Al struggled to sustain any pressure on the offensive end against the younger Irish and didn’t communicate very well. Only two of the goals were assisted.
Defensively, the Flashes allowed some breakaways but were able to get back quickly enough to prevent most of them from turning into scores. St. Joe’s only goal came on a penalty kick by senior Justin Alexander with about 11 minutes to play.
“We were on our heels the whole game. We were kind of shaky,” Head said.
St. Al coach Shirley Agostinelli wasn’t worried, however, blaming the shortcomings on the quick turnaround from football to soccer. Eight of St. Al’s 11 starters play football and didn’t start soccer practice until Monday.
“Some of their kicks were way off, simply because they haven’t touched a soccer ball. But toward the end of the game they started to jell,” Agostinelli said. “I’m not disappointed. We played about exactly as I thought we were going to play.”
Sadler gave St. Al the lead for good about 14 minutes into the game by lofting a shot over the head of the St. Joe goalkeeper. Head’s first goal, off a cross from Jeff Rottman, made it 2-0 about four minutes later.
Head increased the lead to 3-0 just two minutes into the second half by taking Beau Theobald’s pass, dribbling around the left side of the defense and booting it into the right side.
John Theobald grounded a goal in from about 30 yards out at the 12-minute mark and Head completed his hat trick with 10 minutes left in the game by bouncing a shot off the keeper’s arm. He scored his fourth goal on a free kick in the final minute, again deflecting it off the keeper.
“Michael Head played super, but he’s still playing club soccer so his skills have never left,” Agostinelli said. “You can tell he is a groomed, skilled player.”