Hamilton-Wenham also did a great job on the defensive side of the ball clogging up passing lanes and crowding the man with the ball, and as a result there were few quality scoring chances.
“In the first half I thought we did a little more with the ball possession-wise,” Curley said. “But we didn’t have many clear shots. We were just one pass away on a few occasions. Give credit where credit is due; (Hamilton-Wenham) played great on the back end.”
The Generals reversed the flow of play in the second half as they controlled the ball over the majority of the last 40 minutes of play. But like Hamilton-Wenham in the first half, the Rockport defense was equally as stingy in the second.
Hamilton-Wenham nearly got on the board in the 50th minute after putting a nice shot on goal off of a corner kick, but Vikings goalie Jacob Rostowski made a great diving stop to keep the game scoreless.
The Generals continued to pressure for the next 20 minutes, causing Curley to use a timeout. Whatever was said during the break seemed to work for the Vikings as they came out and started to take back the momentum, hitting the crossbar with 10 minutes to go.
One minute later, Hamilton-Wenham came down and Berthoud notched what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Rockport stepped up its offensive pressure from there and had a free kick opportunity from just outside the box with under four minutes to play, but the Generals defense would not relent.
“We definitely went defensive after the goal out of respect for Rockport,” Gauron said. “They were playing so well, we had to bring extra guys back to help shore it up. I thought in the first half they carried the play for the most part, but something happened for us in the second half.”’