The opening whistle sounded and the season got underway. Freshman Tylor Park and Senior Paul Han made their first starts in a Dalton uniform. The team started quite flat, allowing Kent to control possession in Dalton’s defensive third. With the ball skipping around the pitch, defenders struggled to keep the play in front of them. Eventually, the Kent striker dribbled through HongJun Lee and co-captain Jeonggon Kim and let go a thunderous strike toward goal. Diving to his right, Paul Han made a tremendous one fisted save to deflect the ball wide to keep the score nil-nil.
At the twelve minute mark, it was Dalton who struck first! Eric Kang, junior, picked off an errant goal kick, dribbled past a defender and then drove home the first dagger into the side netting. The team looked to be playing with more confidence following their first goal of the season, yet Kent would not give up easily. Dalton gave up a free kick 20 yards from goal that came skipping through traffic towards keeper Paul Han. Paul got his body behind the ball, but the rebound proved costly as no Dalton defensemen crashed the net, allowing an easy Kent tap in to tie things up.
As the first half came to a close, junior, Takjun Oh made a brilliant run down the sideline and was rewarded with a pass from senior Changhwi Park. Takjun played a brilliant ball from the endline back towards the 6 yard box where junior, Miguel Batanero, got enough on it to deflect it to the far bar where Eric Kang was waiting to bury his second goal of the season. It was a brilliant team effort. Unselfish and smart play from all players involved which led to arguably the goal of the game. Miguel moves into third place for all time team points with this assist.
The rain picked up after the half, but play resumed. About 6 minutes into the second half junior Taeho Kim made a brilliant through ball to junior captain Phillip Yoon. Phillip made a few defenders look silly before finishing the ball easily into the back of the net. Phillip played a superb second half in central midfield, controlling possession and directing the attack. Phillip would cap off the scoring later with the sixth and final goal of the game.
Freshmen Tylor Park and Junha Mun would both notch their first varsity goals in their debut. Another player making his debut was sophomore Bushin (Jason) Kim, who impressed the coaches with his effort and toughness.
It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was a successful one. The backline looked lost for most of the game and failed to win fifty-fifty challenges consistently. With an upcoming game against blue division YISS on Wednesday, you can be certain that coach Musselman and coach Talbot will want to focus on that in practice. There was a cohesion to the attack that was missing as well. With the season in its infancy, there are certainly a lot of areas for improvement in this team wants to compete at the highest levels.