September 22, 2021

Sparked by Senior Star Suriel’s Flashy Ball Skills, Hun Boys’ Soccer Rolls to 6-2 Win over Mercersburg

SURE SHOT: Hun School boys’ soccer player Hector Suriel blasts a shot last Saturday against Mercersburg Academy (Pa.). Senior forward Suriel tallied a goal and an assist as Hun defeated Mercersburg 6-2. The Raiders, who lost 3-0 to Episcopal Academy (Pa.) last Sunday to move to 2-2, host Pennington on September 22 and Trenton Catholic on September 25. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After Hector Suriel scored a goal for the Hun School boys’ soccer team late in the second half against Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) last Saturday, he launched into an acrobatic celebration.

Senior forward Suriel turned a series of cartwheels towards the Hun bench to express his joy at the tally.

“That is a known celebration for me, I revived it,” said Suriel.

“Back in 2017 I scored a goal and celebrated the same way. It is from a Colombian player called Faustino Asprilla.”

There was a lot to celebrate for Suriel and his teammates as Hun pulled away to a 6-2 win over Mercersburg in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) opener in a game played at Stuart Country Day School.

“With the win last game [2-1 over Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on September 14] we were mentally prepared, we came to the field with hunger to score goals and that is what we did,” said Suriel.

While Hun generated a lot of chances and outshot Mercersburg 12-2 in the first half,  it only led 1-0 at intermission.

“Coach [Pat Quirk] gave us a talk, saying we have to score more goals,” said Suriel.

“What has been happening lately is that we score one goal and we get comfortable but today it was another mindset. We were hungry.”

Suriel helped get the Hun attack going, setting up a goal by junior Adhityan Tamilselvan four minutes into the second half as the Raiders doubled their lead.

“I like to get the ball and get a lot of touches; this time I thought let’s pass the ball and let’s see what comes out of it — it was good,” said Suriel.

About 17 minutes later with Hun up 4-0, Suriel produced his moment of brilliance, dribbling through the Mercersburg defense and finding the back of the net.

“It was a good goal, I like to score those type of goals,” said Suriel.

“I got the ball, I saw the defender coming, I saw the opportunity and I took it.”

While Suriel enjoyed his tally, he is looking to use his ball skills to be as much of a playmaker as a scorer.

“My role is to help the team pass the ball in the middle and create chances,” said Suriel.

“I try to make other players participate more by moving the ball.”

Hun head coach Pat Quirk sensed that his squad was due for a breakout performance as it took the pitch on Saturday.

“We lost to GA [Germantown Academy (Pa.)] 4-2 in the first game but it was a closer game than what the score sheet,” said Quirk.

“In the second game against Springside we were able to battle. We had a lot of shots, they just weren’t going in. Today, I told them it was come in and then it was going to come in waves.”

The offense came in waves as Hun exploded for five unanswered goals in the first 28 minutes of the second half.

“They stuck to our game plan, we didn’t want to press too high originally,” said Quirk.

“We wanted to see what we could do in the second half, we went out and said let’s go right at it. We know we can possess the ball and we know we are going to get in dangerous spots and it is just a matter of putting them in the net.”

Quirk believes his team has plenty of dangerous threats in the box as William Zeng, Mass Verduci, Conor Meehan, and Joey Bucchere scored in addition to Tamilselvan and Suriel.

“They were pinging it around; a bunch of those goals were good goals — pass, pass, cross it and score it,” said Quirk.

“I don’t think anybody had two. It is competitive in practice to try to get into the starting lineup and we go from there in the game.”

Suriel has proven that he can ping it around for the Raiders.

“He is a little flashy, he is good one-on-one,” said Quirk.

“He can dribble really well; that is how he scored his goal. We are trying to get him to pass it a little more, knowing that he is going to get it back and find space.”

A pair of sophomores Conor Frykholm, who had two assists in the win, and Bucchere, have been playing well for Hun.

“We had Conor at center back in the beginning and then we realized we lose a little bit in the midfield without him,” said Quirk.

“He can pass the ball, he can get guys in dangerous spots. He sees the game really well and he is big. It was good to see Joey get on the scoresheet. He gets frustrated at times; he had a couple of opportunities in the beginning. He makes good runs, he is a hard worker.”

In Quirk’s view, cashing in the opportunities against Mercersburg could be a harbinger of good things to come.

“Our goal is to win MAPL so that is a good start for us,” said Quirk, whose team lost 3-0 to Episcopal Academy (Pa.) last Sunday to move to 2-2, and will host Pennington on September 22 and Trenton Catholic on September 25.

“We are here to play for each other. We have no one guy who is going to be the guy so we are going to keep spreading it out.”

Suriel, for his part, saw the win as a total team effort. “It is definitely going to build up momentum for the other games,” said Suriel.

“This game was really awesome, everybody played well. I think it is going to be good going forward.”