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Upper Merion’s offense gets back on track against Norristown

WEST NORRITON >> The Upper Merion boys soccer team wasn’t happy with its offense after a shutout loss against Phoenixville last week. Head coach Thomas Dodds wanted to see better production Monday.

And that’s just what the Vikings did. They applied consistent offensive pressure and turned that into a 4-0 win over Norristown at Norristown Area High School.

“We wanted to pick up the intensity on the offensive end,” Dodds said. “It’s nice to get goals — we’ll take them. I was happy to see that.

“We were getting a few more numbers forward, which is what we’ve been trying to do. Some of the guys who I needed to step up did a nice job of that. It was well-balanced. We had a whole bunch of guys getting forward.”

Trevor Looby got the scoring started. The junior captain received a beautiful cross from senior Lorenzo Mancino that went just over the head of a leaping Norristown defender. Looby did the rest and put the Vikings ahead midway through the first half.

“I just made a run far-post and trapped it,” Looby explained. “Then I just knocked it in.”

They doubled their lead when senior Zeev Magid-Slav’s throw-in found sophomore Sam Tepe. Tepe showed great patience before putting the ball in the back of the net and giving Upper Merion a 2-0 lead that would stand until halftime.

Freshman Chris Kourtidis iced the game midway through the second half. He tapped in Upper Merion’s third goal after Tepe made an extra pass for the easy score.

Senior Yaseen Elarbi set up sophomore Romeo Mendoza for the game’s final goal to make it 4-0.

“It was horrendous,” Norristown coach Jared Elias said of his team’s performance. “I have no other words for that. We did not play well. That’s not how we’ve been playing all year.

“We didn’t mark people and they scored easy goals, it’s that simple. I just had team dissention today and stuff that we haven’t had this year. It created an issue of the past that we haven’t been involved in a lot this year. One goal gets in, guys get frustrated and we reverted back to our old ways in some ways.”

The Eagles had some scoring chances but were never able to capitalize. Senior Jesus Hernandez stood out, showing great footwork in the middle of the field, but neither he or any of his teammates could get any of their seven shots on goal past Upper Merion keeper Dylan Castillo.

The win improves the Vikings’ record to 4-3.

“It’s a young team,” Dodds said. “A lot of inexperienced guys that haven’t played much varsity. Trying to put it together.”

Norristown falls to 1-6-1.

Upper Merion 4, Norristown 0

Upper Merion 2 2 — 4

Norristown      0 0 — 0

Goals: UM: Looby, Tepe, Kourtidis, Mendoza.

Assists: UM: Mancino, Magid-Slav, Tepe, Elarbi.

Saves: UM: Castillo 7. N: Morales Rodriguez 1, Castanarez 1.

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