East Catholic boys’ soccer team battling injuries, but still have sights on tournament

·2 min read

The East Catholic boys’ soccer team improved to 5-3-2 after a 5-0 win over Bloomfield, on Oct. 12.

Coach Johnny El-Hachem, in his second year with the team, said his players have had to overcome injuries and adversity, but are playing hard and improving with every game.

“We have a strong team, but we’ve had some injuries that caused us to have a setback,” he said. “Sometimes, we just start off slow and find difficulty scoring.”

That wasn’t the case at Bloomfield, when the Eagles notched their first goal about 10 seconds after the start of the match, when Nate Gryzbowski found the ball at his feet and beat the defense, placing a one-on-one shot in the net.

With some untapped potential still to be seen, El-Hachem said he is working on defensive shape and building chances toward the goal.

“We’re not really the team that’s going to create chances off the dribble, we’re more the team that likes to build up and create a chance on a cross or a through ball,” he said.

Using their heads is something else that might help the team put more balls in the net.

“I think we’ve got a lot of height, too,” the coach said, “so we’ve got to put more balls in the box.”

Moreover, the team has been able to foster solid teamwork.

“It’s been a team effort,” El-Hachem said. “We really play well as a team.”

Health will be a big factor in determining how far the Eagles might go in the state tournament.

“Hopefully, everyone will be back by the end of the season, so we can make a strong push in the tournament,” he said.

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