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Veteran Monarchs win battle with rival Richard

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The Cabrini and Richard boys’ soccer teams took their age old rivalry to the field Thursday afternoon and experienced worked in the Monarchs’ favor.

The extremely senior-heavy Cabrini squad knocked off Richard 2-0 on the trip to Riverview.

Cabrini got started early and added an insurance goal in the first half to secure the win.

Five minutes into the contest, senior Jeff Andrew scored o a cross from senior Steve Banghart.

“That goal was a great way to get us and the game started,” Coach Frank Mlodzik said.

The second goal came with 24 minutes left in the first half on a fantastic strike by senior Nico Gonzalez.

Gonzalez battled around the Richard defenders and took the shot from 25 yards out to get the goal.

“After that, the game got a little spirited with both teams having chances to score, but we were able to hold onto the lead,” Mlodzik said. “I thought our defense did a great job maintaining the lead as the game got a little spirited and chippy at times.”

Richard Coach Justin Hunter said his team just wasn’t prepared for the motivation of Cabrini.

“They were ready to play,” he said. “They came out guns blazing right away (and) we just got physically dominated.”

Hunter said his team controlled the ball well at times, but a squad with two freshmen was no match for the veteran leadership of the Monarchs.

“I feel like soccer ability wise, we were both matched up really well, but it’s tough in games like that when it becomes a bit of a dog fight to hang on,” Hunter said. “They were able to dictate how the game was played, but we had possession and the better chances.

“I think there was a lot left out on the table that we need to be conscious of and do a better job of the next time we play them.”

The Pioneers were also playing in the first game of the season, a factor that Hunter said affected the game.

“Our first game of the season was one of our biggest games and my guys weren’t ready,” he said. “We weren’t able to get those first game jitters out of the way.

“They haven’t been able to really gel just yet and I think that showed today.”

Despite the loss, Hunter was pleased with the work ethics of Nathan Girao and Nick Battersby.

“I knew (Nathan) was good, but that kid surprised me,” he said. “He plays like he’s 10 feet tall (and) he’s gonna be an asset for us the next four years.

“He was able to calm us down when we needed to, he was able to press the game when we were down and he dictated what we did from the midfield.”

He also credited Battersby.

“Both of the goals, there was nothing he could do about,” he said. “He has a lot to do with why the game was as close as it was.”

Back on the other side of the ball, Mlodzik said it was a great battle.

“Both teams played extremely hard,” he said. “We are pleased with the win and as I said before, our Catholic League season is going to be tough with any team being ablae to win on every day you play, so you have to take it one game at a time.

Cabrini and Richard will play their rematch September 18 at Cabrini.

Last Updated: 9/3/2014 2:53:41 PM EST