Ravens fall to No. 1 Notre Dame

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 4/16/21

Sam Brueck scored three goals as No. Burlington Notre Dame (5-0) defeated Hillcrest (1-1) by a score of 8-0 on Thursday April 15.  Aiden Krabill made a Hillcrest-record 22 saves in the …

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Ravens fall to No. 1 Notre Dame

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Aiden Krabill made a program-record 22 saves, but the Hillcrest Ravens were unable to create many scoring chances in an 8-0 loss to No. 1 Burlington Notre Dame on Thursday. 

Krabill and the Ravens held Notre Dame off the scoreboard for nearly 10 minutes before the Nikes were able to put the ball in front of the goal on a corner kick. Krabill made the initial stop, but the rebound went straight to Notre Dame senior Sam Brueck, who found the net to break the tie. 

The Nikes scored twice more to take a 3-0 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half. 

“We had some film from one of their games, and they looked like what I like to think we looked like some of the years when we had really good teams,” Hillcrest coach Marcus Miller said.

“They swing the ball around the back, they do overlapping runs. They possess the ball really well, they cross the ball well from the wings, and so we knew we were going to have our hands full.

Things got worse for Hillcrest when defensive midfielder Noah Miller had to leave the game with an injury. The Nikes added two goals about 65 seconds apart during the final two minutes of the first half. After holding top-ranked Notre Dame without a goal for the first 15 minutes of the first half, Hillcrest allowed a sixth goal. 

“Ledru (Miller), one of the assistants, was pointing out that six of the eight goals they got came in the last 15 minutes of each half,” Miller said. “And so, tired legs, tired minds, just not focusing on things the way we should. That happens when you’re tired.”

In addition to missing Noah Miller, the Ravens were without two other players due to a sickness and a quarantine. 

“We didn’t have many bodies to bring in,” Miller said. “It’s hard when you can’t keep their minds fresh for some of these guys. So that’s one of the things that will get better as they get better conditioned throughout the season.”

While many teams had a year off from soccer with the cancellation of the spring season last year, the majority of Notre Dame’s roster plays club soccer. Playing additional games against high-quality competition has always given club players an advantage in the past, but the gap in experience will be even bigger this year. Conversely, Miller said that Tuesday was the first time all year that all 16 of his players had been at practice. 

Talking about the skill of Notre Dame, Miller told his team, “when you put the work in, good things result. 

“I know sometimes there are good reasons guys miss, but you know we had 16 guys at practice for the first time a month into the season. I hope it’s a life lesson that they take with them.”

Miller had one more message for his team at halftime, trailing 5-0, “I just really wanted them to go out and compete,” he said. “I told them if we lost 10-0, I didn’t care as long as they were competing. And I felt like they really, really did compete well. And then John (Hughes) had to come out for a while, and he’s a big presence in the midfield and that didn’t help, but I was really happy with the guys and how they competed.”

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