If Van Horn boys soccer coach Jesus Rodriguez were draw up a blueprint for a perfect game for his Falcons, Monday’s contest against the William Chrisman Bears would be it.
Van Horn dominated possessions for the entire first half and let the Bears attempt only four total shots. The Falcons utilized a hyper-press to create multiple turnovers and counterattacks on their way to a 5-0 rout at Independence All-School Stadium.
That style of play helped a Van Horn defense that has been shaky at times this season. The Falcons only had to deal with one shot on goal the entire game.
“Our offense is very powerful,” Rodriguez said. “I keep knocking on wood, but we have yet to not score in a game. We create a lot of chances because we possess the ball really well.”
Van Horn (15-2) held a 13-0 edge in shots on goal in the first half. William Chrisman only managed to get it to Van Horn’s third of the field a handful of times in the first 40 minutes.
Sophomore midfielder Edison Rios started the scoring when he received a short cross from junior midfielder Angel DeAvila and nailed a left-footed shot inside the upper right corner of the goal in the 13th minute.
In the 16th minute, forward Raynalso Jean-Pierre punched in a close-range shot past Chrisman freshman goalkeeper Javier Ortiz-Merino for a two-goal advantage.
“We started the game with some high-intensity,” Jean-Pierre said. “We wanted to end the game early (by mercy rule), but we weren’t able to get it done.”
Junior midfielder Julio Rios continued the Falcons’ offensive onslaught late in the first half when he took a shot just outside the 18-yard box and it bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and over the goal line.
Jean-Pierre got his second goal in the 36th minute when DeAvila sent a long direct free kick deep inside the 18-yard box and after one bounce. Jean-Pierre knocked in a header when the ball was in mid air to give Van Horn a commanding 4-0 halftime advantage.
Chrisman (9-6) managed a much better effort in the second half, getting off three shot attempts, but it was unable to convert on any of them.
“I thought we struggled to keep our composure when Van Horn was pressing us,” Chrisman coach John Straub said. “Our reaction was to play the long ball instead of finding the simple passes to possess it. That created some difficulties and caused us to defend for 98 percent of the first half.”
Edison Rios notched his team-best 23rd goal of the season in the 46th minute when he got a nice lob pass from Joxel Figueroa and he had goalkeeper Brandon Kuhlman one-on-one and he punched it in for the final tally.
“It’s always a luxury to have a player with 20 goals on your team because you know you can always count on that player,” Rodriguez said. “He got us out of a bind against St. Michael last week and got a hat trick and scored the game-winner in overtime. He’s turning into a forward who is very explosive or very dangerous.”