Boys soccer team falls to Saucon Valley
Injuries have been the underlying theme for the Salisbury boys’ soccer team this season. And while head coach Mark Allinson welcomed back two starters on Saturday against Saucon Valley, the Falcons struggled to keep up with last year’s District 11 Class 3A champions.
Saucon Valley scored five goals in the first half en route to a 6-0 win on its home field over the Falcons (2-10 overall, 2-7 in Colonial League). The Panthers (7-4, 7-2) currently sit third in the Colonial League standings, and the win capped a brief two-game losing skid.
“We’re still unsettled in the back,” Allinson said. “We got Will Raymond back and we got Aaron Kahn back, so I figured that would have provided us with a little bit of continuity down the center of the field. The first half we just mailed it in.”
The Panthers scored at will over the first 40 minutes of play. But despite the big deficit, Allinson saw glimpses of solid play in the second half.
There were plenty of opportunities for the blue and white over the final 40 minutes. After a Falcon free kick was blocked by Saucon Valley’s wall, sophomore Aiden Mathieu was there for a follow-up opportunity that was just off target. Nicholas Jones then had a left-footed strike on goal that hit off the crossbar.
Allinson, however, understands that the Falcons need to take advantage of those chances when they come up.
“It’s few and far between,” Allinson said. “This year we need to make the most of our opportunities. Unfortunately we don’t do that. We had a ball that went off the crossbar, but nobody followed it up. Andre (Fernandez) had a couple of shots that if he puts it a little more on frame, it at least makes it a little more interesting.”
There were a number of big plays for Salisbury’s defense in the second half, too. Defender Chad Ekdahl Jr. saved a Panther shot just inches away from crossing the goal line after goalie Baxter Reihman went out for a save. Reihman came up with a big save himself with eight minutes remaining to keep the Falcons’ second-half shutout alive.
Saucon Valley’s Cameron Brown, however, broke that drought with a goal in the final two minutes.
“They had a little more motivation to play today because it’s Senior Day,” Allinson said. “They are the reigning district champions, and we were at that point not too far ago. We have to find our way back. It’s not all going to come at once. The kids have to realize that they have to put the effort in over a full 80-minute period of time before we even begin to see any sort of dividends.”
Salisbury next hosts Moravian Academy on Thursday for a 4 p.m. start.