Rohlfs' Late Game-Winner Lifts Hurricanes Past Hornets
CHESHIRE, Mass. – Dylan Rohlfs scored on a counter in the 86th minute Saturday to give the Hoosac Valley boys soccer team a 3-2 win over McCann Tech.
Ian Godfrey took a ball out of the back from Aiden Middlebrook and played it forward for Rohlfs, who dribbled into the left side of the 18 before putting a low lining shot inside the far post for his second goal of the game.
“I was sitting at the top, waiting, making sure I stayed onsides,” Rohlfs said. “I was just waiting for a through ball. Someone hits me with a good ball, and I went through, and I run in, try to look for a corner or something. It’s what I do.”
Rohlfs has done it 11 times this fall for the Hurricanes to lead the team in scoring. His latest tally extended a three-game winning streak for the squad and gave Hoosac Valley (6-3) a split in the season series with their Bi-County League rivals.
After scoring an equalizer in the 42nd minute, it looked for most of the second half like McCann Tech would finish the job and get the sweep or at least the road point. The Hornets carried the play most of the second stanza with just a couple of forays into the final third for Hoosac Valley.
“McCann did really well,” Hoosac Valley coach Patrick Mahoney said. “We had a lot of chances, I think, to break into their half in the second half. But they covered it really well. They’re athletic. Their back line did a good job sorting things our whenever we did make a foray forward, and that kept us pinned in for a while.
“McCann did very well for a large stretch of that second half. I’m really glad we were able to hit that late chance.”
On the other bench, it looked very much the same.
“I know we dominated that whole entire second half,” McCann Tech coach Stephen McAllister said. “I really thought it was going to end up a draw. Unlucky on that last goal. We controlled the ball on our side of the field, but … many missed opportunities that we had. We’re putting the ball in the 6. We’re putting the ball in 18, right where we need it. And, unfortunately, we’re putting it on the goalkeeper instead of on the net.”
Wesley Emerson made 12 saves for the Hurricanes, who were outshot, 7-2, in the second half.
But it was Hoosac Valley that took it to the Hornets in the opening minutes, getting a corner kick in the first minute and a goal in the fourth.
Rohlfs took a pass from Evan Richardson in the middle of the offensive half and sent Godfrey with a through ball. Godfrey finished to make it 1-0.
But less than a minute later, McCann Tech responded when Sean Rousseau set up Ivan Liang in traffic inside the 18, and Liang scored his 10th of the season to level the score.
Hoosac Valley was able to recover and keep the pressure on through the next 15 minutes until Rohlfs cashed in with an assist from Godfrey to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
Mahoney said he thought a tweak in Hoosac Valley’s offense may have helped to create some early openings.
“We moved a few players around,” he said. “The system remains the same, what we’ve been using, but we put a couple of guys in different spots to try to maximize their individual skills and talents.
“I think that, potentially, unsettled [McCann Tech] a little bit to our benefit. We had Ian dropping a little bit deeper, playing more centrally, and that caused some problems because his movement is different than when Drew [Norcross] is in there or Evan is there. It’s really just that: different players using their talents in different positions.”
McAllister called his timeout after the second Hoosac Valley goal, and the Hornets started to change the field, getting a couple of solid tries on Emerson before the end of the half.
And at the start of the second, the Hornets’ Jake Toupponce fired a shot from beyond the 18 that Emerson was able to stop. But he could not control the rebound, and Jack Cooper was there to cash it in and tie the game, 2-2.
McCann Tech did not let up after that, but the Emerson and the Hoosac Valley defense were able to keep the Hornets off the board until the Hurricanes were able to spring Rohlfs for the game’s final goal late.
The Hurricanes Monday will look to keep their winning streak going when they travel to Gateway, a 2-1 loser when the teams met in Cheshire earlier this season.
McCann Tech (6-4) hosts Pioneer Valley Christian on Monday.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Dylan Rohlfs talks about the team’s three-game winning streak.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Ian Godfrey scores in Saturday’s win over McCann Tech.
Video: McCann Tech’s Ivan Liang scores in Saturday’s loss at Hoosac Valley.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Wesley Emerson makes a save in Saturday’s win over McCann Tech.
Video: Hoosac Valley’s Dylan Rohlfs scores the game-winner in the 76th minute against McCann Tech on Saturday.