Brooks scores for Zebras, but Maconaquah earns TRC win as fans feud
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Jude Brooks scored in the second half, but the Rochester boys soccer team lost 3-1 in a Three Rivers Conference home game at the Brent Blacketor Memorial Sports Complex Monday.
Zach Pickens had the assist for the Zebras, who fell to 5-6 overall and 2-4 in the TRC.
Zachary Sparks scored twice and Isaac Lorenz also scored for the Braves, who improved to 5-2, 3-0.
Brooks’ goal came with 30:24 left and cut the Maconaquah lead to 2-1. Pickens set up Brooks from just outside the box, and he floated a high-arching shot just over Maconaquah goalkeeper Trace Armstrong’s head and into the back of the net.
Maconaquah restored their two-goal lead with 13:55 left. Jackson Jones burned a hard shot from 38 yards away that hit the crossbar and went straight down. Lorenz recovered the loose ball and scored.
After the goal, a shouting match betweens fans of the opposing teams ensued. The head referee stopped the match, and Rochester assistant coach Brent Markley walked to the other end of the field to tell the fans that a team could be punished if the fan behavior continued.
Fans then began yelling at Markley, who walked back to the bench.
The game continued without incident.
Pickens, Rochester’s all-time leading goal scorer and the recipient of a rough foul at Maconaquah last year, was cited for a yellow card with 33:08 left in this game.
The wind was a factor, according to Rochester coach Elmer Roque. Rochester played with the wind at their backs in the second half.
“First half, we obviously didn’t do that great,” Roque said. “We were going into this wind. In the second half, we had the opportunities. We just couldn’t finish, and I don’t think we wanted it enough.”
Roque said Maconaquah played with five midfielders, and the Zebras had trouble adapting.
“They always have a little bit of a numerical advantage against us,” Roque said. “We tried to stay true to our style of play, but we like to start from the middle and then go outside, but they were crowding that. … They were all over us in the midfield. Midfield wins games. They say defense does, but in reality, you control the midfield, you control the game.”
Roque moved up Adam Maroney into more of an offensive position in the second half.
“Throughout the season, we’ve noticed that there are some games that Layne (Backus) does a lot better job in the middle, and there are games that Adam does a little bit better because he’s more of an active, destroy-the-play type of player,” Roque said. “And so we were obviously losing in the midfield a lot because there was no pressure, and Adam came in there and just pressured, pressured, pressured, and it worked for a big part of the second half.”
It took less than 23 minutes for Sparks to score twice.
His second goal came when a Maconaquah player and a hustling Rochester goalkeeper Parker Wallace appeared to collide going for a loose ball. The ball squirted out of Wallace’s hands and Sparks drilled the loose ball into the open net.
Adam Maroney Jude Brooks