POTTSTOWN >> Warning: anyone with sensitive hearing should not attend a Germantown Academy boys soccer game.
The Patriots bring the noise.
The constant stream of sound begins with high-energy, first-year head coach Brendan Sullivan, whose chatter is constant from opening whistle to after his post-game team talk.
Then there’s senior forward Zander Foglia.
“He’s definitely the loudest player on our team,” senior Frankie Koons said of Foglia. “He always gets us motivated before games.”
Foglia had the mightiest roar Wednesday afternoon at The Hill School early in the second half after he scored a breakthrough goal that proved to be the game’s lone score in a 1-0 Patriots’ win over the Blues.
“I like hyping up my players when we score, yell and have a good time. They do the same for me,” Foglia said. “I think we definitely have been playing like this, holding our ground and then we strike. We get an opportunity and we capitalize on it.”
Germantown Academy improved to 4-0-2, a very promising start from a team that finished 2-5-1 in the Inter-Ac last year.
The Hill School (3-3) was left frustrated after being unable to find the equalizer and only truly testing GA in the final 10 minutes. Longtime head coach Chris Drowne said that was uncharacteristic of his team that’s had quality wins (2-1 over Kiski, 2-0 over last year’s Inter-Ac champ Haverford School) and had only been previously beaten by nationally-ranked opponents Pennington School and South Kent (Conn.), the No. 1 team in the Top Drawer Prep rankings.
“First half we got too comfortable. Second half we came out soft and then they got one right away,” senior midfielder Jake Fetterman said. “Then they parked the bus and it was just hard to get anything in. It was a tough loss. I’m sure it’s not going to happen again.”
Foglia’s goal came seven minutes into the second half. James Thatcher looked to play a through ball for Foglia, which a Hill defender only got a piece of while playing a high line, putting Foglia free on goal. With so much real estate, Hill keeper Aidan Perry was left with little chance as Foglia rolled it into the left side.
Hill nearly leveled things in the late stages when Bo Dlamini hit a shot through traffic that struck the left post. Hill totaled nine shots to four for GA, each with two on target.
The GA defense, including Frankie Koons, Ian Lugossy, Bradley Palmer, Brendan Hasson and Andrew Luo, were key in throwing in blocks on Hill shots to protect goalkeeper Jackson Sternberg (two saves).
Fresh Start >> Sullivan has provided an obvious jolt to the Patriots after previously serving as an assistant for six years at St. Joseph’s Prep, his alma mater.
“Our new coach really made us feel good. It’s definitely a fresh start,” Koons said. “It’s in our minds that we’re a good team and every single game would be a match. We thought we’d be here (with such a good record) and we’re happy about it.”
“Coach sees a lot of potential in us and that’s a really good thing,” Foglia said. “I think we can really bring it to the Inter-Ac, and show them what we have.”
Middle Men >> The Hill School midfield features Fetterman, in his second year at Hill after three years at Pottstown, and Toni Adewole, a two-time All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League first team choice from Ashton, Md.
“I’m usually a more attacking player but in this team I fit in as a holding midfielder position. It’s almost like a third center back,” Fetterman said. “I like playing there a lot. It unlocks other key roles for our players, like Toni can play attacking mid instead of center defensive mid because he’s a great attacking player.”
Adewole, who is getting a handful of Division I looks, started three years ago at Hill as an outside back on the PAISAA championship team. By moving into an attacking role he hopes to spark the Blues’ scoring, which was a challenge at times in last year’s 10-6-3 season.
“We been pretty successful attacking but it was one of those games we couldn’t score. It’s maybe bad luck because last year we had the same issue,” Adewole said. “But we’ll definitely work on it.”
Beyond Fetterman, The Hill roster also features local players Euan Forrest (Douglassville), younger brother of past All-Area Player of the Year Mark Forrest (Lehigh), Will Macy (Elverson), Devin Murray (Pottstown), who transferred from Owen J. Roberts, Ethan Norton (Collegeville), Aidan Sullivan (Pottstown), Alex Tullman (Chester Springs) and Greg Zimmerman (Elverson).