NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The North Plainfield High School boys soccer team took their home field today in search of another conference and county win, this time against Manville High School (2-5). The Canucks (7-1) were also looking to gain some momentum that could prove important in their road to the Somerset County tournament.
While the Canucks never seriously faltered, it definitely wasn’t their prettiest game so far. North Plainfield went through some of the passing and defensive woes that have been showing up this season. Despite that, the Canucks stayed in control of the match, and got away with a 4-0 victory.
While coach Chuck Henriques was happy to get away with the win, he was also critical of his team’s uneven play, specifically when it came to pressing, and playing defense from the point of their opponent’s attack.
“It just felt like we were out sync,” he said. “I know we scored four goals, but it wasn’t pretty. A W is a W, and I’ll take it. My hands off to Manville, They played an enthusiastic game and were tough and didn’t back down.”
The leader of North Plainfield’s offensive success was undoubtedly Ronaldo Garcia. The forward took home two goals, one of which came off a long shot from almost 20 yards out near the 20 minute mark of the second half. His other goal came about ten minutes later when he sent home a corner with a header.
Anthony Alvarez got the first score of the game, courtesy a penalty kick in the 28-minute mark in the first half. Kevin Tarbares also found the back of the net off a rebound off the crossbar in the second half.
Although, the Canucks have taken home wins in all their conference and county games, Henriques says his players have to step up in preparation for the Somerset County tournament, which begins next week. The Canucks drew the sixth spot in yesterday’s seeding.
“The big thing I’ve been telling these boys is, you've got to believe in each other, you’ve got to play for each other, and you’ve got to pass with energy,” Henriques said. “We have talent, but we gotten away from that.”
The team has some downtime, as their next game, which is against South Hunterdon, won’t be until next Wednesday. Henriques says he’ll focus on getting his team back into shape in the coming practices.
“We’re going to get back to the basics,” he said. “Back to playing defense and understanding that we have to press (the opponent).” “I think did one of the things we did (well) in the second half today was play through (Manville’s defense). Not hitting long balls, not looking for through balls or chipping balls, but playing through them. We’re not going to prepare any differently, we’re just going to focus on attacking the ball.”