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Boys Soccer: Rivas uses head to find way for Hubs to win

October 25, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The North Hagerstown boys soccer team lived by the old cliché “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” on Thursday night at home.

In its Maryland Class 3A West first-round battle against Seneca Valley, the Hubs had seven previous chances on corner kicks but came up empty.

Finally in the 73rd minute, Yusuf Bodirov’s cross found Martin Rivas in front of the goal and Rivas headed the ball past Seneca Valley keeper Christopher Ocon for his second, and most important, goal of the year that was the difference in a 1-0 North victory at Mike Callas Stadium.

“I had two other opportunities, but this one Dino (Bodirov) had a good cross and I got the connection,” said Rivas. “You see the ball, run to it, eye it and go attack and that’s what I tried to do.”

The victory was the fourth straight for the Hubs (10-6), who will now go on the road Tuesday to face Tuscarora at 5 p.m. with some revenge in mind. On Oct. 4 at Tuscarora, North lost 1-0 to the Titans.

“We had our chances against them the first time,” North coach Glen Singer said of Tuscarora.

Seneca Valley (6-9) appeared poised to take a lead in the 69th minute when the Eagles had a 2-on-1 situation but North’s Andre Kirlew rode Christian Sorto off the play and the ball bounced away in front of Hubs keeper Max Ober.

North, which had missed on two corner kick chances earlier in the second half, then started pressuring Seneca Valley and connected.

“We had the chances,” Singer said. “You just have to move the ball on those and be strong.”

Seneca Valley was no slouch, especially on defense as it played the Hubs tough.

“They had six guys set up on the back line and that made it tough for us to get through. But we knew we could win with the (corner kicks),” Singer said.

The Eagles did not surprise North despite its losing record, playing tough Montgomery County opponents.

Seneca Valley had four prime chanes to score in the first half, including a pair of surges off corner kicks in the last four minutes, but failed to connect on five of its shots in the first 40 minutes.

Ober had seven saves as he recorded his eighth shutout of the year and lowered his goals against average to 0.50.

“It’s not just Max with the shutouts, it’s been our entire defense,” Singer said.

The Hubs have allowed only 12 goals in 16 games.

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