In an amazing 12-minute stretch, Hutchinson High’s soccer team played “the beautiful game,” against Andover Central.
Hutchinson poured through four goals and saw a fifth goal waved off by an offside in a stunning 12-minute display for a 5-1 lead Monday night.
The Salthawks’ second-half collapse was nearly as surprising as Hutchinson survived 5-4 when coach Chris Reeves rested several starters in the final 20 minutes. The Salthawks play four games in seven days.
Hutchinson (9-2) barely made Reeves’ gamble pay off. The Jaguars’ stylish Paige Matacchiera scored with 4:21 left and Emma Hontz’ high blast off a nifty assist from Evan Stamp made it 5-4 with 50 seconds left. Reeves said she briefly considered re-entering her starters.
“I wanted to rest my varsity and I knew that might happen,” Reeves said. “I thought they’d get some goals, but I don’t think it needed to be 5-4 by any means. It’s good for those JV kids to compete.”
Midfielders Erinn Penny and Molly Proffitt keyed the Salthawks’ first-half scoring burst.
The Jaguars’ Leah Zurich opened the scoring. After Jordan Downing’s goal tied the score, Hutchinson dominated the final 12 minutes of the first half with perfect transition.
Madison Brady scored on a crossing pass by Proffitt. Erinn Penny scored on a pass from Stacy Rottinghaus after an entry pass by Jazmin Hartshorn. Brandi Phillips scored an uncontested goal after a perfect pass by Downing. Cristian Marroquin’s leading pass set up Brittany McClelland’s goal. Only an offside stopped a second goal by Phillips.
"We finished our opportunities and that was fun to watch,’ Reeves said. “Our center-midfielders are key to our success. They started getting involved moving off the ball, switching the field around and connecting. We got multiple people involved, which was exciting.”
Andover Central coach Stephanie Garcia glad all the credit to Hutchinson’s pinpoint execution.
“I totally give credit to them,” Garcia said. ”They had some girls who could move the ball and make some good runs. They beat us and we had some breakdowns.”
The Jaguars adjusted defensively by switching goalie Evan Stamp on offense. Matacchiera and Maddie Sherman sparked the second-half surge by her passing and ball movement.
Madison Zimmer’s goal came on an assist by Masen Stamp with 10:14 left. Two more goals made the final minute interesting.
Freshman sweeper Masen Stamp solidified the defense with backup goalie Caitlin Ortega after halftime. Only a blast by Hutchinson’s Penny that hit the post came close to scoring.
“We marked up better defensively,” Garcia said. “We fought for the goals and closed the gap. They battled to the finish.”
Hutchinson plays at Goddard Eisenhower and Andover Central (6-5-1) travels to Valley Center Tuesday.