Falcons Keep Soaring
Coach John Coulter gathered his team in a post game huddle as he once again drove home the importance of team work and balance. He told his boys they didn’t get another W because of just one player, or even the 11 starters. It’s because of the balance they have.
“Because all 20 guys bust our butts every day,” Coulter told his boys.
Niagara Wheatfield did indeed bring a complete and balanced effort as they topped Kenmore East, 3-1, in Niagara Frontier League boys soccer action that was played at Sparky Adams Field on Monday evening.
It was a marquee match up that pitted the Falcons, who are ranked as the No.4 large school in WNY and the No.9 Bulldogs.
But Coulter, like most coaches, didn’t pay any attention to the rankings. His focus was a league game against a quality opponent.
“I don’t even tell them about the rankings. To me that’s just a number,” said Coulter. “We try to focus on each individual game.”
Jacob Vallas got the Falcons (6-1, 8-1) on the board with the first of his two goals that came midway through the first half.
Kyle Hofschneider tied the game for Ken-East 13 minutes later.
Alexis Leon, who set up both of Vallas’ goals, would score the game winner with five minutes left in the first half. Vallas capped the scoring four minutes into the second half.
“Yeah we’ve started to gel together,” Vallas said. “Max (Schoemaker) is making some great saves out there. Offense was doing their job, defense was doing their job.”
For the Bulldogs (3-2, 4-3) it was a learning moment that required the players to see the big picture. Head coach Rolfe Friedenberg said that even in defeat his team put forth a good effort that, interestingly enough, was more complete than some of their wins.
“That’s what I talked to them about after the game. Believe it or not I did think that this was actually the best game that we played all year,” said Friedenberg.
“We were moving the ball around. We were changing the point of attack. Some of the guys were really demanding the ball. So after the game I told them we’re not happy with losing, but we have to be able to build on that. Because in my mind, in my opinion, if we play like this the rest of the season there aren’t gonna be too many teams that will beat us.”