Short handed Hampshire wins 3-1; 1st victory over panhandle since 2007
SUNRISE SUMMIT – “It’s really special,” said Hampshire goalkeeper Mason Hott while fighting back tears just minutes after beating Musselman on Thursday 3-1.
“All the years of us getting pounded, night after night, all the losses, all the long rides home, it’s finally come together. It means the world.”
The last time Hampshire beat a class AAA team from the Eastern Panhandle was in 2007, a 1-0 road win against Hedgesville, according to former Hampshire coach Al Straley.
Knocking off a powerhouse team from the Eastern Panhandle has been the goal of Coach Robby Hott since he took over the Trojan boys program last year.
“Feels wonderful,” said Coach Hott on achieving his goal for the team.
“We played Musselman tough the last 2 years, so we came into tonight knowing we could play with them and it feels awesome.”
The Trojans entered the game with confidence having played well against talented teams including a tie with Jefferson and a narrow 1-goal loss to Washington.
“The boys’ confidence with themselves and each other just gets better and better,” said Hott.
Coach Hott attributed the difference in outcome to the work done in practice.
“We kept working on flying to open space, flying to the open ball and making good connective passes,” said Hott.
Musselman coach Andy Hornbeak noticed a different Hampshire team on the field as well stating,
“They were more constructive and came out a lot more aggressive.”
Hampshire wasted no time in setting the tone of the game and put pressure on the Applemen early on. At the 22:44 mark of the 1st half, Dom Strawn was fouled just inside the 18’ and received a penalty kick.
With an opportunity to grab a 1-goal lead, “Double down” Dom Strawn drilled a ball to the back of the net giving HHS a 1-0 advantage.
At halftime, the Trojans clung to the lead 1-0.
The intensity increased in the 2nd half, as both teams wanted to establish their dominance physically. At the 34-minute mark, Musselman sailed a long ball down field, and an Applemen player broke free with only the goaltender in front of him.
Hampshire defenseman Caden Davis was in hot pursuit and attempted to make a play from behind by executing a slide tackle.
Unfortunately, Davis missed the ball and took out the Applemen striker. Davis received a red card and the Trojans were forced to play the remainder of the game with only 10 players.
“We shifted a little bit and dropped our top back and trusted our abilities,” Hott explained on the changes made after losing a man.
“If anything, it made them play more intense.”
Senior Colin Hott played with passion on Thursday night, which included scoring a goal with 30 minutes remaining in the game to give Hampshire a 2-0 lead.
“I’m feeling stoked right now,” said Colin Hott after the epic win.
Trailing 2-0, the Applemen increased their offensive pressure against the 10-man Trojan lineup, and that pressure paid off when forward Jason Gordon was fouled in the penalty box at the 24:27 mark of the 2nd half.
Gordon blasted the penalty kick to the left hand side of the net, which kept Musselman alive with the score being 2-1.
The 2 squads were locked in and fighting for every loose ball. With 12 minutes left to play, the Trojans lined up for a corner kick.
“Double down” Dominic Strawn assessed the defense and sent a beautiful ball sailing to the middle of the box. Hott was in the right place at the right time, controlling the cross, then bashing the ball into the back of the net. The Trojans seized a 2-goal lead, 3-1, with just over 10 minutes left.
Coach Robby Hott praised his senior standout on his performance against the Applemen: “He elevated his play to help shut down the midfield. He just knows when he has to attack and when he has to sit back. His knowledge of the game has really improved.”
With the scoreboard reading 3-1 in favor of the home squad, Hampshire fans in the stands were in a frenzy as the countdown to victory was on.
When the horn sounded at Rannells Field, players raced to the turf and congratulated each other, officially removing the monkey off their back.
“We are working better together as a team and moving the ball better,” pointed out Colin Hott as why the Trojans were able to knock off Musselman.
Hampshire could not build off the momentum as they lost on Saturday to Spring Mills 7-0. The Trojans are now 3-3-1 on the season.