Upper Dublin gets wide, breaks out against Upper Moreland

UPPER MORELAND >> Take the ball wide and space will present itself in the middle.

That was the idea the Upper Dublin boys’ soccer team took into its match-up at Upper Moreland on Wednesday. It was an idea well-executed.

The Flying Cardinals had a dominant second half as they flew to an 8-1 Suburban One League American Conference win over the hosting Golden Bears.

Bob Raines--Montgomery Media Upper Dublin's Jose Palomeque wins possession from Upper Moreland's Matt Bruner Sept 16, 2015.
Upper Dublin’s Jose Palomeque wins possession from Upper Moreland’s Matt Bruner during their game on Wednesday, Sept 16, 2015. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)

“We thought at halftime even though we were up, we were still going to put the work in,” Upper Dublin senior Justin Greene said. “We wanted to move as a unit, attack, defend as a unit and it turned out alright.”

The Cards (2-2-0, 2-1-0 conference) jumped to an early lead by organizing one of those forays down the left side of the field. A through ball found its way to Jake Rosen, who went endline and put a low cross right to the foot of Jose Palomeque, who drove it home.

Neither side was especially crisp in the first half, but Upper Dublin fed well off the early tally. The Cardinals closed quickly and often en masse whenever a Bear got the ball in the middle of the park.

Troublesome for Upper Moreland (1-3-0, 0-3-0) was the fight to keep possession. Too often it was one, two or maybe three touches before the ball was turned over or knocked out of bounds.

“I felt unfortunately that the first half was the worst half we’ve played this year,” Upper Moreland coach Dan Mannella said. “We really didn’t put too many passes together and they really dictated the first half of the game.

Upper Moreland wasn’t purposefully wasteful, but just seemed a little jumpy or impatient with the ball. Brendan O’Donnell and Jack Moran were workhorses in the middle of the park, but as a whole, the entire team just seemed off.

Upper Moreland's Matt Bruner and Upper Dublin goal keeper Jason Stone tackles Upper Moreland's Jonathan Sandoval before he can shoot during their game on Wednesday, Sept 16, 2015. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)
Upper Moreland’s Matt Bruner and Upper Dublin goal keeper Jason Stone tackles Upper Moreland’s Jonathan Sandoval before he can shoot during their game on Wednesday, Sept 16, 2015. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)

Upper Dublin extended its lead when Ryan Huggins slotted the ball home to the near post, beating the diving UM goalkeeper. Again, the build came off the wing before the ball went into the middle for a through ball that set up Huggins.

“On a small field like this, I was telling them to get the ball wide and let’s attack them down the wing,” UD coach Derek Priest said. “Even though it was a little disjointed in the first half, we possessed well so (Upper Moreland) was chasing and maybe ran out of steam.”

Upper Dublin also struck quickly in the second half when Nick Browndorf re-directed Greene’s corner kick into the back of the net just a few minutes in. Winger Jake Rosen quickly pushed the scoreline up when he outran a defender to a through ball and slid it under the onrushing keeper into the unoccupied net.

Greene said the early goals in each half energized the team and the Cardinals showed a lot of hustle and tenacity even with a multi-goal lead.

“We were able to pass the ball better in the second half,” Huggins, who scored twice, said. “We seemed to play better after the early goals.”

Staying after the ball was a positive sign for Priest, who felt his group was out-hustled in a loss to Cheltenham last Friday. Rosen nearly had a second goal, but it was saved and onrushing Nick LaRosa rushed his shot, skying it over the crossbar.

Bob Raines--Montgomery Media Upper Dublin's Jerry Bardol and Upper Moreland's Chris Johnston battle for a header Sept. 16, 2015.
Upper Dublin’s Jerry Bardol and Upper Moreland’s Chris Johnston battle for a header during their game on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)

A few minutes later, Palomeque hit the crossbar, but this time Greene was there and he calmly policed up the rebound and struck it home. Huggins stretched the lead out to 7-0 when he won a battle in the box and bumped the ball in for his second goal.

“This was something we emphasized we need to do, we needed to hustle more as a team,” Priest said. “We have a big game this Friday and after a tough defeat last Friday, this was exactly the response I was looking for.”

After Upper Dublin made it 7-0, the Bears finally pulled one back when Jake Winters perfectly timed a run against the back line, slotting home a goal on a breakaway effort.

Max Spiegal capped the outing for Upper Dublin with a 30-yard chip after her baited the keeper into charging out when he had gotten in one-on-one with plenty of field to work with.

“We move as a unit and through the center, we play out wide,” Greene said. “Through the wide play, we have a lot of speed and with that speed we can win one-v-one battles which usually turns into goals.”

For an Upper Moreland group looking to build toward the future, it was a long afternoon.

“Overall it just wasn’t a good day for us, but it’s a good group,” Mannella said. “The boys are positive and we’ll hopefully rebound from it pretty quickly.”

Top Photo: Upper Dublin’s Jake Chinn gets tangled with Upper Moreland’s Ryan Lowry during their game on Wednesdya, Sept 16, 2015. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)

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