Dons Fight Hard against Playoff Team
On Friday afternoon Verdugo Hills took a visit to take on the Huskies of North Hollywood high school. Coming into this game coach Matt Nicchitta understood this game was going to be a tough match for Verdugo. He stated they had a new game plan for North Hollywood.
The game started with the Huskies having the initial kickoff. Even with North Hollywood having the ball first, this did not stop Verdugo from putting the pressure on them from the get go. The Dons managed to get a hold of the ball and put the Huskies on the defensive. For nearly the entirety of the first half, the Dons did not stop forcing the Huskies to play defensively. Verdugo took multiple shots, but none managed to get into the net. Even with many missed opportunities this did not shut down the Dons, and they continued to pressure them. When North Hollywood took a hold of the ball offensively the Dons managed to hold them down. With Verdugo’s defense managing to constantly put pressure on Huskies with the ball , North Hollywood did not get many opportunities in the first half. The first half ended with the score of 0-0.
At the end of the first half, the team gathered for a huddle and coach Nicchitta reviewed their gameplan. He stated that their approach is working and that this competition is the same competition that they will face in playoffs. To end the huddle he said to his team “Remember what they did at our house”, referencing the Huskies 4-1 victory on December 1.
The second half started in favor of Verdugo with them having the kickoff, but this was a mirror image of the first half, flipped towards North Hollywood With Verdugo having kickoff this did not stop the Huskies from getting a hold of the ball. In the 42nd minute, North Hollywood managed to strike first in the match, and it did not take long for the Huskies to score another. In the 43rd minute Riley Katz of North Hollywood managed to score the second and final goal of the match. Verdugo continued to fight against North Hollywood, but they were not able to get any of their shots into the net. The match ended in favor of North Hollywood, by a final score of 2-0.
At the end of the match when coach Nicchitta reflected on the match, “I think we had to put 80 minutes of focus of time together, we only put 75, we missed 5 minutes and we gave it up”. When asked about his team's performance against a school that is expected to be the league champs and is the league leader at the moment he stated “ I'm really proud of them today, you know last time it was 4-1. When you know they beat everyone 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, I'm really proud of them”.
The next match for Verdugo will be on Wednesday January 26. The Dons go back home to play the Lancers of Grant High School.