River Hill out-muscles Liberty Top-ranked Hawks win on goals by Brown, Crew

Boys soccer

September 11, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

River Hill plays with such a high work-rate and has so much depth that few teams can hang with them physically in the second half.

Such was the case in River Hill's opening game at home in Clarksville yesterday, when the No. 1-ranked Hawks ran visiting Liberty (1-1) into the ground during the scoreless first half and put them away in an ugly, foul-riddled second half, 2-0.

Randal Brown scored the first goal on a put-back in the 48th minute.

Nineteen minutes later, he teamed with last season's scoring leader, Adom Crew, for the Hawks' second goal. Brown hit a perfect corner kick to Crew, who cut across the box and soared to head in the ball.

"We still have a lot of work to do," said Brown, who played midfield last season and, like most of his teammates, has matured a lot. He's one of just two seniors on the team.

"We have to play as a unit. Living up to being No. 1 is hard. We were just playing a bunch of brutes today," Brown said.

In the view of Hawks coach Bill Stara, "Randal and Adom created stuff and played well up top. They complemented each other well. The bottom line is, you have to finish."

River Hill could not cash several first-half scoring opportunities. Crew missed a penalty kick. Another shot went off the crossbar.

The Hawks missed two more golden chances in the second half, one from 8 yards with an open goal, and one from 16 yards when Liberty keeper Craig Rauser -- who had 13 saves on the game, two of them spectacular -- was 10 yards out.

River Hill outshot Liberty, 20-5, and its superior skill frustrated the Lions, who resorted to frequent fouling.

"They are a very good team and played like a No. 1 today," Liberty coach Ed Devincent said. "In the second half, they picked it up a notch, and we didn't. I thought our defense did a good job overall. They scored on a scramble in front of the net and a corner kick."

Stara was pleased that the Hawks scored off the corner, because such set plays were not a team strength last season.

Crew was obviously the main focus of Liberty's defense, because he scored 16 goals last season.

"Jeff Hagood did a nice job marking Crew," Devincent said. "We showed we could play on the same field with them. We're not zTC embarrassed. Our goal was to score the first goal, and we had some chances with the wind helping us in the first half."

Pub Date: 9/11/98

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