HORSHAM >> When the ball touches Danny Bateman’s foot, you can’t help but lean forward with excitement waiting to see what happens next.
Hatboro-Horsham’s electric sophomore scored both goals — each giving his side the lead — in a 2-1 Suburban One League American Conference win over Wissahickon Thursday afternoon at Hatboro-Horsham Senior High School.
“I think that’s five on the year now for him,” Hatters coach Kyle McGrath said. “He’s our leading goal-scorer. He’s involved in a lot of our attack.”
Bateman’s first goal came in the 32nd minute. He won a race to a loose ball on the left side, got around the goalie who left his net and took a few dribbles before burying the game’s first score.
“It was a good ball,” he said. “It was exciting. It was a good result we got. I was kind of iffy about taking that shot. I took another touch and I thought it was too late but I got a good shot off.”
The second broke a 1-1 tie in the 66th minute. Junior Nick Hatzenbeller found Bateman in the center of the field and he ripped a shot. Wissahickon’s keeper got a piece, but not enough to prevent the ball from finding the back of the net.
“The second goal was complete luck,” Bateman said. “It was a good ball from Nick Hatzenbeller. I just hit the ball and it rolled off the goalie’s hand in the net. Probably some luck on that one.”
Wissahickon tied the game at one in the 51st minute. After an offensive throw in was cleared from the box, the Trojans sent it back in. Eddie Fortescue centered to Brad Schwartz who redirected it home for the score.
That was Wissahickon’s best scoring opportunity and it managed just three other shots on goal — all of which were turned away by Hatboro goalie Stephen Doney.
“We don’t have a goal-scorer,” Wissahickon coach said of the offensive woes. “Simple as that.”
Conversely, the Hatters were attacking on offense all game. They totaled 10 shots on goal — eight of which came in the second half. Wissahickon goalie Jun Yuh made some incredible saves to keep the Trojans within striking distance.
“He’s done that all year,” Malcolm said of his goalie. “These guys need to recognize what he’s doing because at the moment the scores are looking a little better than (they should). He’s saved some breakaways and some long shots from other teams.”
Hatboro improves to 3-0-1 in SOL American play with the win.
“It’s good to be in the new league,” McGrath said. “Things are going well obviously, but we need to make sure we take it day-by-day still and we know that the second time through the league is going to be just as challenging as the first time. Just have to make sure the guys stay focused and ready to perform every day.”
The loss drops Wissahickon to 1-2 in league play.
“We’ve got to find some ways of winning games,” Malcolm said. “We’ve got to compete better than we’re doing. Whether we’ve got to change things up with regards to who we have on the front line or who we have in the midfield, but we’re either who we are and we’ll see that at the end of the season or we’ll make some changes and get better. This is the third game in a row we’ve lost by one goal and, to be honest, this was probably the one where we weren’t as good as we could’ve been.”