CHESHIRE, Mass. -- There nearly were as many positives for the Hoosac Valley boys to take away from Wednesday’s soccer match as there were concerns on the Wahconah sideline.
But Wachonah got the biggest positive of the day, a 2-0 win thanks to two goals from Kevin Huban.
Just don’t expect Wahconah coach John Kovacs to be jumping for joy.
“A good win as far as getting the points,” Kovacs said. “As far as us getting ready to play the rest of our schedule, I felt we were very lax. We practiced better than what we showed. We needed to be more intense. We weren’t intense enough today.
“Two-zip, we’ll take the win. But our team intensity needs improvement. … We’ve got Monument Friday night. We’ve got to be ready.”
And on the Hoosac Valley sideline, despite being outshot by a margin of 13-1, the Hurricanes never really felt like they were out of the game. A large measure of the credit belongs to keeper Jaydin Cooper, who stopped 11 shots in the loss.
“Jaydin was excellent,” Hoosac Valley coach Patrick Mahoney said. “In practice, every day, I go off with him and take like 25 minutes where everyone else is warming up or maybe doing some ball skill stiff. I work just with him. I get to see, literally every day, that he’s getting better. And good for him. He’s a good kid, and he wants to get better, which is really the most important part.
“He’s been huge for us this year. When we can trust our goalkeeper to make the saves he has to make and then some, it just allows us to play a little bit differently -- a little more confidently directly in front of him and potentially throw some more numbers forward.”
Huban managed to break through twice.
The first goal came in the 11th minute. Huban broke up the middle on a through ball from Easton Eberwein and fired a shot that found the net off the fingertips of a diving cooper.
It stayed 1-0 until the 64th minute, when Eberwein again set up Huban, this time on a cross from the left wing, to give Wahconah some insurance.
Other than that, Cooper and his defense did their job. Just before the first half, Wahconah had a dangerous chance on one of its seven corner kicks, but Matt Tassone was able to clear the ball off the line.
At the other end, the Hurricanes generated a couple of what Mahoney characterized as “half chances.” Midway through the first, Hoosac Valley had a try from the left side of the penalty area past a drawn out keeper that hit just inside the far crossbar and rolled across the goal mouth without going in.
Midway through the second half, after Wahconah’s Kyle Brogan made his only save of the game, the Hurricanes just missed getting a boot on the ball in front of an open net for a potential tying goal.
In the end, Mahoney thought the narrow loss was another step forward for his squad.
“I thought there were a whole lot of good things,” Mahoney said. “Defensively, they were able to split our lines, get right between midfield and defense pretty often and pretty well. I think [Huban] may have been a big part of that. That’s something we need to shore up.
“I was impressed with Wahconah. They’re an athletic group, and they have talent, too. … Two-nil losses don’t usually feel great, but I feel like we’ve learned a lot from this experience, not only for when we play them next in a week and a half or so, but for the rest of the season.”
Hoosac Valley (1-3) hosts Drury on Tuesday night at Renfrew Park.
Wahconah (2-3-1) hosts Monument Mountain on Friday at 7 p.m.