Showing its potential, the Hun School boys’ soccer team recently reeled off a three-game winning streak as it bounced back from a 1-4 start.
But in the last week, Hun has slipped, losing three straight games with its latest defeat coming when it fell 2-1 at the Blair School in overtime last Saturday.
Hun head coach Pat Quirk acknowledges that he has been frustrated by his team’s failure to build on the run of good form. “It was a confidence builder,” said Quirk, referring to the winning streak. “We were taking so many steps forward and now we took a step back with the Blair game.”
While Quirk had no qualms with his team’s effort against Blair in its Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opener, he noted that Hun wasn’t sharp when it needed to be.
“It was not the result we wanted,” said Quirk, who got a goal from Andres Gonzalez in the loss to Blair which left the Raiders at 4-7.
“We got off to a slow start, they got a goal in the first two or three minutes. We were able to tie it but we couldn’t convert our chances later on. We hit a post and we hit some wide. There was a mix up on a free kick at the end which led to their goal.”
The Hun defense has been unsettled as senior goalie Chris Meinert was sidelined after a 5-1 win over the Princeton Day School on October 2.
“Chris Meinert suffered five fractures in his face in the PDS game,” said Quirk.
“We brought Taylor Heilman in because had played some soccer before. He made 20 saves against St. Benedict’s in his first game. He is still learning the position. Chris is hoping to be back in a week or so. He should be back just as we start the county tournament.”
Quirk is confident the Raiders can get back on the right track. “I think we just need to regain some confidence,” said Quirk.
“We have a week off before our next game against Hill on Saturday. We have a few things to work on, starting with our finishing. We will be working on conditioning until Thursday. We need to work on defending free kicks and corner kicks.”
The team is relying on its trio of senior stars, Bailey Hammer, Felix Dalstein, and Gonzalez, to give it some good work.
“Bailey and Felix need to step it up, they have to realize that they are seniors and this is it for them,” said Quirk.
“They have the ability to play at an exceptional level. When they elevate their game along with Andres Gonzalez, the rest of the team does too.”
With the Raiders competing in the upcoming Mercer County Tournament and the state Prep A tourney as well as going for the MAPL crown, Quirk knows that his team has plenty to play for.
“I am getting excited about the county tournament,” said Quirk. “I think we could get a seed in the middle and we have a chance to win some games. I tell the guys they have three opportunities to make a name for ourselves with counties, Prep A, and MAPL.”