But because of an injury, sophomore
Isaiah Stessman was stuck on the bench for the team’s first three games, and the Eagles were limited to just three goals so far.
Stessman made a splash in his season debut, scoring a goal in each half, including the game-winner in the final 10 minutes as Sharon recorded a 4-2 win over visiting Attleboro.
“His presence in the middle is huge,” Kelly said. “He’s young but he’s smart. With him and [Michael] Baur in the middle, we’re dynamic.”
It took the Eagles less than 10 minutes to take the lead over the Bombardiers. Using one of their most reliable options, senior
Tyler Hippler launched a long throw-in inside the attacking third that went over Attleboro’s keeper, deflected off sophomore
Michael Baur, off the post and in for a 1-0 lead.
Attleboro registered its first chance of the game in the 18th minute when
Devin Andre tracked down a long punt from keeper
Nick Hasenfus, touched it wide for sophomore
Michael Russo but his bid went just over the bar.
Big Blue’s momentum didn’t last long though. Just three minutes later, the Eagles doubled their lead. Sharon senior
Marques Benton found some space at the top of the area, turned and ripped a shot that forced a diving save by Hasenfus. But Stessman pounced on the loose ball and buried it to make it 2-0.
“That’s the offense we’ve been expecting,” Kelly said. “During the OA game, we were kind of stagnant in our midfield and weren’t moving the ball well. So yesterday during practice we focused on moving the ball and keeping our formation and it showed today. We kept the ball on the ground, we were stringing together some passes together.”
Attleboro had a last minute chance in the first half when
Connor Dunn struck a half volley inside the area, but Sharon junior goalie
Ethan Kantor made an acrobatic save to preserve the two goal lead at the break.
Sharon came close to adding a third just over five minutes into the second half but Hasenfus had a big answer. Sophomore
Viktor Schneider’s low cross found the feet of Baur inside the area, but a tackle from
Nathan LaPlume forced it free. Hippler jumped on the loose ball and placed his shot in the upper corner but Hasenfus timed his jump perfectly and knocked it away.
The save proved big for Attleboro as the Bombardiers cut the deficit in half just four minutes later. Russo launched a big clearance off a Sharon corner and junior
Will Halben was able to flick the ball behind the defense. Halben then tracked down the loose ball, taking advantage of a miscommunication between a Sharon defender and Sharon goalie, touched it wide and finished into the open net to make it 2-1.
The Bombardiers nearly pulled level three minutes later when
Aidan Lanc put a half volley on goal, but Kantor was positioned well.
Two minutes after Andre had his floating header stopped by Kantor, the Eagles found the game winner. After a first corner we cleared away, Baur whipped a cross into the near post and Stessman – who was on the bench for the majority of the second half as he eases into game form – made the run and connected with a header to make it 3-1.
“We have a bunch of young players so when we can score off a set piece, it’s a bonus,” Kelly said. “Our second goal and our last goal to ice it, those are the goals we want to see. But set pieces are big too, a lot of teams score on set pieces in this league. If you’re not scoring on them, you could be down. You take away the set piece goals and it’s a 2-2 tie.”
With Attleboro pushing almost all of its players forward, Sharon’s
Antonio El-Khoury took advantage and tucked his shot into the far corner in the 80th minute.
Sharon boys soccer (2-1-1 overall, 2-1 Hockomock) is back in action on Friday when it opens its Davenport schedule with a visit from Foxboro. Attleboro (0-2-1) is on the road for the second straight game, visiting King Philip on Friday.