The Bishop Hendricken soccer team has won every game in which it’s scored a goal. Unfortunately for the Hawks, that’s only happened twice.
And it didn’t happen Monday.
Hendricken traveled to Cumberland and controlled much of the action but came up empty in a 3-0 loss. It was the sixth time the Hawks have been shut out this season, and they’ve scored only two goals in eight games. They dropped to 2-6.
“It’s a funny thing – if you try too hard, sometimes it doesn’t come,” said Hendricken head coach Mickey Rooney. “I’d be more concerned if we weren’t creating opportunities, but we’re definitely getting some opportunities. It’s just a difficult year.”
The Hawks started the season with three straight shutout losses but felt they were poised for a breakout. That breakout came – and then went.
Hendricken beat Chariho 1-0 on Sept. 20 and Hope 1-0 on Sept. 25. Since then, the Hawks haven’t scored.
“Sometimes the luck isn’t with you,” Rooney said. “It’s frustrating. Eight games in and we’ve scored two goals.”
The Hawks hoped Monday’s game would be an opportunity for another breakout. Cumberland also came in with just two wins and had given up four goals in its previous game.
But the Clippers had the Hawks chasing right off the bat. In the sixth minute, a long throw-in by Kyle Sutcliffe put the ball by the near post. In traffic, Kyle Courtney headed it backwards, and goalie Matt Creamer was caught off-guard. The ball tipped off his hands and into the net.
From there, the Hawks carried the play but couldn’t find the net, despite five corner kicks and plenty of other looks. Brandon Silvestri hit the post off one of the corner kicks and Dan Levesque had a good look saved by Remi Lussier.
Late in the first half, the climb got steeper. Cumberland’s Trevor Lopes hit a low cross from the right side. Sutcliffe slid to stop it and punched the ball off the bottom of the cross-bar and in.
“First half, we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized on it,” Rooney said. “We were chasing the game right from the beginning. I don’t think we were out-played. It’s just that they had the opportunities and scored and we didn’t.
The Hawks came out firing in the second half, but again fell further behind. In the 46th minute, Courtney chipped a shot over a charging Creamer for Cumberland’s third goal.
At that point, the Clippers could sit back and absorb Hendricken’s pressure. That didn’t stop the Hawks from trying, but the struggles continued. Lussier saved a floating free kick from Paul Phillips in the 50th minute. Justin Matrone hit a volley shot midway through the half that sailed just high. Brennan Martin got a good look after a pass from Matrone but Lussier was there for a diving save. In the final minutes, the Hawks got their best look when Brexton Kinney headed a free kick into the box for Chris Cambio, who had a wide open shot. He hit it hard, but Lussier was there for the save.
“We’ve even said first guy that scores gets breakfast,” Rooney joked. “But it’s just not working. It’s a little bit the more you try, the tenser you become. I think they’re putting too much pressure on themselves.”
On the bright side, the Hawks have shown plenty of positive signs. It’s just about putting it all together.
“That’s the positive we have to take from it,” Rooney said. “We’re not consistent. There’s flashes of brilliance. We see all these great things but it’s not always there.”
The Hawks were scheduled to play Shea on Wednesday, with results unavailable at press time. After that, they’ll have five games remaining in the regular season, a stretch that starts with Friday’s 4 p.m. home game against Portsmouth.