Council Rock North ascending back to the top

By JOHN GLEESON, 21st-Century Media News Svc.

WARMINSTER – Defeating an old nemesis does grant a certain degree of vengeance. More importantly, it shows the growth an individual player or team has undergone.

Entering this season, the Council Rock North boys soccer team wanted more than a few revenge wins. They sought to reestablish themselves as one of the area’s elite teams. Senior goalie Bill Storm summed up the lofty goals. “This is the best we’ve been for a while. I know Council Rock North always used to be one of the top teams in the area, if not the state, and we’re trying to work our way back to that.”

Gaining such recognition seemed a challenging task at best. The Rock’s first three opponents this season all beat them in 2014. Wissahickon downed the Indians 2-1 in last year’s opener. William Tennent thrashed them twice by 2-0 and 4-0 scores. Pennsbury nipped them, 3-2, in overtime.


The chance of taking down all three opponents right out of the gates seemed daunting. Yet the Indians did just that. They thumped Wissahickon, 3-0, to start the 2015 campaign.

Next up was a spirited and physical William Tennent team. Bill knew his teammates were psyched. “We were prepared for that game. We lost twice to Tennent last year and that doesn’t usually happen. We wanted to make sure we came out strong against them and got the win.”

Behind goals by senior Arthur Vasyluk and junior Nikita Ihlin, the Indians downed an aggressive Panther team, 2-0. “Against Tennent, we played very physically and played very well. I think the key was our defense. We were really solid back there and physical on the ball. I was certainly excited after the game. I liked beating them, especially after last year.”

The Rock did not have much time to savor the sweet taste of revenge. Two days later, they hosted the always tough Pennsbury Falcons in what would prove an early season battle for first place in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Division. The two rivals battled through 80 minutes of tough soccer and then two scoreless overtime periods before settling for a 0-0 tie.

Bill considered the tie a moral victory. “The Pennsbury game was really a gut check. It was really hot outside so we had to stay focused. Everyone knows Pennsbury is a really good team. Last year, we made it to overtime against them and got sucked up too far and they had a breakaway and scored on us. We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen so we stayed focused.”

From his goalie vantage point, Bill felt CR might have pulled off a big win. “We started playing very well but after a while, we got into a lull. Our gut came out and we kept playing. We had a couple of chances in overtime.”

Most importantly, as goalie Bill had recorded his third straight whitewash, quite an accomplishment for a player who almost abandoned the soccer wars at an early age. “I played when I was little but then I stopped for a while and picked it up again in eighth grade. I was mostly playing midfield and I got tired of it but I had a bunch of friends that said try it so I came out again.”

Part of the lure inspiring Bill’s reentry was a chance to play a position more in tune with his natural abilities. “I started playing goalie in 8th grade. I was playing baseball and my foot skills weren’t really up to par so I figured my best chance of making it was if I used my hands as a goalie.”

It took a few years for Bill to learn the tricks of his trade such as when to charge out and when to lay back. “A lot of that comes through experience. The first couple years on JV, I’d get stuck in no man’s land. After a while, you learn where to be and when to come out and what to take on.”

The Rock faithful know where they want Bill to be, in goal blanking enemy offenses. Such a strong defensive effort will undoubtedly help the Indians reestablish themselves as a soccer force.

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