It was senior day, the final game that the seniors were slated to wear a Dalton jersey on their home pitch for the rest of their academic careers. Coach Musselman made sure to maximize the playing time for these boys. “Our seniors have really played some important minutes for us this season, it was great to be able to honor the hard work and dedication they have brought to the table this season.”
Dalton began the game with a massive push and energy that would slowly disappear as the game processed. 8 minutes in the ball would find the back of the KKFS net on a fluke own goal which put Dalton up by one early. Five minutes later, junior Joseph Park made a stunning goal on a header off a junior Miguel Batanero corner. After the game the opposing coach remarked upon how Joseph “wanted the ball more than anyone else.” It is plays like this that really set a team a part from the others, the hunger to win the ball. However, winning the ball and “wanting it” more than the other team died when that ball hit the back of the net.
Minutes later, Dalton would concede a goal on a corner. Set pieces have been Dalton’s weak spot this year and in this game it was more of the same. The ball floated high above the box, out of senior goalkeeper Paul Han’s outstretched hands to the back post where it was easily tapped in.
The game would remain much the same for the remainder of the game. What separated the two teams was the fluke own goal.
With 9 minutes remaining Coach Musselman took a tired Paul Han out and replaced him with sophomore Woohyun Kim. Within minutes Woohyun would make his presence felt completing creative passes, making great runs and energizing the offence. Getting a pass from junior Jacob Lee in the box Woohyun took one touch before placing the ball past the keeper. About a minute later Woohyun played a truly beautiful ball over the defense to a streaking junior Minsuh Lee. Minsuh beat the keeper to the ball and gently tapped the ball into the net for the fourth goal, second in three minutes.
With his job completed, Woohyun was subbed off for Bushin Kim who would also make an impact on the offence. Bushin’s speed was on display as he chased down a ball that was surely going to go across the touchline. He made it to the ball with time to spare, played the ball across the box to junior Miguel Batanero. Bushin would earn player of the match for his hard work (and speed) throughout this one.
Dalton moves to 5-0 in division play and clinches the #1 seed in the tournament. It wasn’t a pretty win, but they will take it. The team takes the next week off before playing their final game before the tournament against Dulwich. Will the second consecutive undefeated season continue? They will need to clean it up if they hope to do so.