In a battle between two of the area’s top boys soccer teams, neither was able to find a winning goal on Thursday night.
Meadowbrook hosted Thomas Dale in a raucous rematch of the Knights’ only loss of the season. Defensive plays from both sides highlighted the 0-0 draw, moving Meadowbrook to 7-2-1 while Thomas Dale moved to 8-1-1.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” Thomas Dale head coach Vaughan Long said. “They gave us everything tonight.”
The Knights struggled to maintain possession in the first half after the Monarchs displayed intense on-ball pressure in the midfield. Disruptive defending from the Knights’ senior center back duo of Joseph Ennas and Tim Vickerie kept the Monarchs’ chances from materializing.
Sophomore defender Edwin Chavez had the first real chance of the game for the Monarchs in the 7th minute, heading a shot to the center of the goal and into the gloves of Adrian Rios. The Monarchs tried to turn their high energy pressing into goals, but were unable to make the final passes necessary to put their attackers in a consistent scoring position.
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“Tonight we couldn’t finish,” Meadowbrook head coach Gabriel Hochstetler said. “We’ve been working on trying to move the ball outside and cross it in, but we weren’t able to take advantage of it tonight.”
Central defensive midfielder Adrian Trejo set the tone for the Monarchs, pressing throughout the game. It didn’t seem like Knights midfielders had any time to think before Trejo got a cleat on the ball.
The second half was a more even affair with both sides having game-clinching chances. The Knights’ strongest chance of the game came with 15 minutes remaining in regulation when forward Christian Velasquez received a well placed ball on-frame before heading it slightly over the post.
With a noticeable size advantage, the Monarchs looked like a threat to score on every set piece. In the dying moments of regulation Vickerie made a goal line save, keeping out a dangerous chance from a Meadowbrook corner.
“I just didn’t want the ball to go in, so I was like, I gotta put everything on the line to make sure it stays out,” said Vickerie, who will walk-on for Old Dominion next year.