Hawks get back on track after ‘rough week’ with win over Tigers
Viera's Tibor Susanj clears the ball away from Holy Trinity's Charlie Woods during Saturday's non-district game at Hawk Stadium. Viera won the game 4-1.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
It was just the kind of feel-good performance the Viera High boys soccer team was looking for.
Mads Jensen scored twice and Kia Mohajeri and Yorgen Torres each had one goal as Viera defeated Holy Trinity 4-1 Saturday afternoon at Hawk Stadium.
The win came on the heels of a week that saw the Hawks lose back-to-back games against West Shore and Eau Gallie while also having to deal with several injuries.
“We had a rough week,” Viera coach Nick Robinson said. “We weren’t doing the things that are necessary to … never mind win a game, but even be in a competitive game.
“We weren’t doing the things that we’ve usually done over the last two or three years really well. We had a tough (practice) session yesterday to make sure the focus was back. And it was there today. I’m proud of the boys. It was a good way to bounce back.”
Over on the other side, Holy Trinity coach James Phillips was lamenting the fact that his team got up in trying to play Viera’s game instead of its own.
That led to the Hawks dominating possession, and ultimately, the scoring opportunities.
“We knew going in they were bigger than us and more physical than us,” Phillips said. “We didn’t really play our game. We tried to match them and that was not really our game plan.
“Because of that, they completely dominated us from pretty much start to finish. We did a little bit better in the second half, but pretty much the game was already done because we didn’t play our game.”
Neither team had its starting goalkeeper available Saturday due to injury and illness, so it was up to Holy Trinity’s James Linnabary and Viera’s Andrew Sanger to try to keep things close.
Viera’s defense, led by senior Robbie Murtha, did a good job of keeping Holy Trinity’s top scorer, Danny Lynch, from getting a clean shot at the net.
Holy Trinity’s goal came in the second half from M Jay Choi.
Viera (6-2-1), meanwhile, got a pair of goals from Jensen in the first half with the second one coming via penalty kick.
“I thought we played good today,” Jensen said. “We just weren’t doing the right things (earlier in the week) and today we popped back. We won our headers, our second balls. We did the right things and it showed.”
Leading 2-0 to start the second half, the Hawks made it 3-0 on Mohajeri’s goal. After Choi cut the lead to 3-1 for the Tigers, the Hawks answered right back with a goal from Torres, who had just been brought up from the JV team because of the injuries Viera has been dealing with.
Both coaches looked at Saturday’s game as a good opportunity for their teams to learn something that will hopefully pay off down the road.
“We’ve had some high-highs and we’ve had some low-lows,” Robinson said. “We’ve had to face some adversity. Hopefully, this kind of sets the tone for us at the end of the year, so we know that we’ve faced both sides and we don’t think we’re good enough to just walk up and beat anyone, because we’re not.”
Phillips, meanwhile, thought the game will help prepare the Tigers (5-5) for some of the teams they will play down the road.
“It was a good challenge for us because we’re going to come up against teams that are that good in the playoffs,” Phillips said. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from this and sort out a few things that we need to work on.
“It was a good game, a good learning experience for us.”
It was also another chapter in the friendly non-district rivalry between the two schools.
“These are always fun games when you’re playing against people you usually play on teams with for club,” Jensen said. “It’s always a fun game.”