On a night the wind sent chills through the backs of the players on the sidelines, the Scouts kept the blood pumping in the hearts of the spectators by delivering a fast pace thriller on Thursday. Playing a solid Zion Benton squad, the Scouts were more than ready give the Zee-Bees a fight they wouldn’t forget.
The night started out poorly for the Scouts. On the first play of the game, the Zee-Bees broke through the Scout defense and fired a shot that bounced off senior goalkeeper Colton Pfeiffer’s chest, ricocheted off the post, and landed in the goal.
15 seconds in the game the Scouts were down 1-0.
The Scouts were able to get on the board less than 10 minutes later when junior midfielder Carter Collis took advantage of a mistake made by the Zion Benton goalkeeper. Collis collected the muffed ball and put it in from less than six yards out.
With the momentum firmly on their side, the Scouts struck again late in the first half when junior midfielder Oliver Akintade scored in the 36th minute following a Zion Benton foul.
The half ended without any further scoring. The Scouts, for the first time since they faced Lane Tech, had a lead to protect at halftime.
The Zee-Bees made sure to make the game interesting when in the 55th minute they scored on a hard shot just over the outstretched hand of junior goalkeeper John Walsh.
From then on the game was owned by the Scouts. Time and time again they marched down the field and pressured the Zion Benton goal. Junior defender Konrad Ziaja, junior midfielder Jackson Meadow, junior forward Nico DeFilippis, and Collis all had shots in the waning minutes of the second half.
Walsh also made his presence felt. Late in the second half, the Zee-Bees broke through the Scout’s defense and zeroed in on the goal. Only eight yards in front of his own goal, Walsh threw himself at the Zion-Benton forward and blocked his shot, preserving the tie and the Scout’s chance at a win.
The closest chance the Scouts had to put the game out of reach was called back when DeFilippis was called offside after receiving a pass several feet the goal.
The final whistle blew without any further scoring.
“Once they scored we were the better team,” Scouts coach Rob Parry said after the game. “We were building well, creating space, playing with two touches.”
The Scouts need to play with the same level of skill and spirit against the Libertyville Wildcats Tuesday night at Libertyville.
Stat of the Day: The Scouts completed 331 passes Thursday. This extremely high number reflected how well the Scouts controlled the game, and this type of control will be necessary as they make their way through the second half of the season; the team that controls the possession usually wins the game.