September 09, 2012
St. Benedict’s came through its only multiple-day road trip this season unscathed after completing a two-game sweep in Pennsylvania.
The Gray Bees, which opened the season with an eight-goal triumph on Thursday, left for the Keystone state Friday and continued its sharp play with a 5-0 verdict on Saturday over Council Rock North in Newton, Pa.
Five different players tallied goals, including Juan Parada, who scored once and assisted on another when SBP raced out to a 3-0 first-half lead. Jon Moraes, Jose Maderos, Dominic Harrington and Niqell DeMatas also registered scores.
Coach Jim Wandling’s team, however, didn’t have it so easy on Sunday. Although SBP was never in danger of losing, it ran into an opponent, Roman Catholic, which wasn’t interested in winning.
But, after a scoreless first half, the Gray Bees solved the defensive shell of their opponent and posted a 2-0 verdict in Philadelphia. Moraes, a senior forward, who has scored in all three games, and Auro Patnaik were able to find the back of the net.
“I was disappointed in our lack of will in the first half,” admitted Wandling, whose team missed high and wide on most of their shots in the opening 40 minutes. “If we connect on one of the early chances, it would have relieved the pressure of still trying to get that first one in the second half.
“All things considered, I thought we did what we came here to do and got the results we wanted.”
The Gray Bees, predictably, are unbeaten after three games into the 2012 season. But what has Wandling impressed so far is the multitude of scorers and the all-around defensive effort from his players.
SBP has had 10 different goal scorers in the early going. More impressive, though, may be the fact that the Gray Bees have yet to yield a single shot on goal.
“Our defensive work has been outstanding,” said the coach. “I know that will eventually change and we will be pressured. But I like our chances going forward with the guys we have in back.”
The stalwart in the back again this year is Spencer Hambleton (pictured), who is headed to Rutgers next year. He has been directing his teammates in the final third and is supported by Tyler Pinho, Miguel Alves and Gio Giammatteo.
Goalkeeper Mateo Zabala, although not having to handle a shot on goal yet, has been very active vocally and making himself available for outlet passes in the back.
"This year, we're trying to make a statement of just how good the defense is," said Hambleton. "Going three games without giving up a shot is (showing) that St.benedict's is not just an offensive power, but also a hard team to break down."