TAMPA – Newsome’s boys soccer team continued its impressive run of form, winning its third in a row, and running its undefeated streak to eight games with a convincing 6-1 victory against Freedom on Monday night.
Armani Alicea scored twice for the Wolves (6-1-2), including the opening goal in the 27th minute as a reverse pass from Harold Gussman picked out Alicea’s run into the right side of the penalty area, catching the Patriots flat-footed. That allowed Alicea time to move in before driving home his shot at the near post.
Newsome had a header cleared off the line by Freedom’s Alex Toledo shortly afterwards, but it didn’t take long for the Wolves to double their lead as a quick throw-in on the left in the 33rd minute was pulled back towards the top of the penalty area by Marcus Starke, and Skylar Wilks fired home from just inside the edge of the area.
Gussman then got his reward for an excellent game seven minutes into the second half as he fired home from the left side of the penalty area. Gussman was excellent throughout the game, making incisive runs to create opportunities for himself, and drawing defenders with him to allow his teammates time and space.
“Harold is a good addition to our attack,” Alicea said. “He dishes the ball to the right player at the right time and we capitalize on it.”
Joey Perfetto made it 4-0 from the penalty spot before Freedom (3-5-1) pulled a goal back, Taylor Nalls taking advantage of a free header off a corner. The Wolves restored their advantage two minutes later, though, the defensive wall parting to allow Steven Gonzalez’s free kick from the left side through and in at the near post.
Alicea then scored his second of the night, a well-struck left-footed volley from 12 yards after Freedom was unable to deal with a long throw-in effectively.
“That’s one of the better ones I’ve scored,” Alicea said. “I’m not really a lefty, but this made my season.”
Freedom coach Dennis Derflinger said the way his side was unable to retain possession in either defense or midfield had been an issue for the Patriots recently.
“We’ve struggled in the past few games with controlling midfield play, giving up needless balls, and that’s one of the things I’d talked to them about,” Derflinger said. “A couple of instances we played the ball to our midfield knowing they were marked, and those are things we can’t get away with against good teams.”
Newsome coach Neal Rickmers was very happy with the way his side played, and the cohesion the team appeared to be developing in all areas of the game.
“We’re actually reaching the point where everyone is balanced, the whole team,” Rickmers said. “We’re pretty even in scoring, we have people from anywhere to two to seven goals now at the top, and there’s multiple (players) with multiple goals, so the good news is that we’re really spreading the play out, and working the ball to the people that are open, and they can finish.”
Derflinger said he was impressed with the way the Wolves went forward.
“They have a good defense, they also make some very good runs off the ball,” Derflinger said. “Once a player receives it, they have two guys making different runs off it, so they’re well coached, they move the ball well offensively, and they’ve got a good attack.”