On Tuesday evening, Lower Merion played their cross-district rival over at Harriton and lost 2-1. It was a game that could just as easily have been a win if a couple calls had gone the other way.
But not to worry. Coach Nico Severini’s Aces picked up the pieces and played a solid 80 minutes against the Garnet Valley Jaguars. Even though the Central League’s Jags were themselves well-coached by Marty Meenan, the score was close only because of the stellar goalkeeping of senior Kevin Stripling.
Lower Merion hustled, won loose balls, and outshot the boys from Garnet Valley by a good margin. With freshman Marcelo Pernot finally back in the starting line-up, the Aces are reasonably healthy and rounding into post-season form. District playoff locations will be announced next week and Lower Merion has only three games left on their regular season schedule. The sky’s the limit for this young L.M. squad.
Lower Merion came out of the gate in the first half with a lovely goal by senior forward Ben Hriscu. It was just Ben and a Jaguar defender downfield and Hriscu won the ball, putting it nicely past Garnet’s big keeper.
The rest of the half was dominated by the Aces, but Stripling was flexible and athletic in making two very impressive saves.
The second half was more of the same, with L.M. peppering shot after shot on goal, but nothing reached the back of the net. Junior Kenny Lassiter showed his moves with some nice offense, one time actually hitting the post on a well-struck bolt from way out.
The Jags had a decent opportunity on a free kick at 26:00. However, their best chance of the day came with just seven seconds left and junior keeper Connor Yu made a strong play to preserve the Aces' win.
Lower Merion’s record now stands at 12-2 (8-2 in the Central League).
ACES OF THE GAME
Senior Ben Hriscu leads the team in goals, and could be headed for another Central League Player of the Week. He was the difference-maker on Thursday.
THEY SAID IT
“Our team has a great ability to bounce back. They know that every game they play is winnable." —Coach Nico Severini
The Aces play Great Valley High School at home on Saturday October 15th at 11:00AM.