“We’re really happy with our defense,” said Head Coach Glen Appels. “Our defense did pretty well, (giving up) just three shots.”
That defense allowed only one goal so far — when Granada Hills sophomore midfielder Manuel Ponce bended the ball past Bell in a 1-1 tie against the Highlanders on Dec. 4.
On Saturday, St. Francis needed its defense to be perfect in order to compensate for so many missed opportunities on the offensive end.
Although St. Francis out-shot Monroe 14-3, the Golden Knights did not score until their final shot attempt, when Nick Rihn found Swart for the only goal of the match — more than 73 minutes into the game.
“We had five clear chances in the first half,” Appels said. “We need a little more composure in front of the goal.”
One of those opportunities occurred about 12 minutes into the game, when only the goalkeeper stood between Swart and a first half score on a fast break play. Yet Swart’s kick was wide left, much to the dismay of the players and the fans.
The most glaring missed opportunity came with 26:42 remaining in the game, when senior forward Amir Moore was unguarded and had a point blank shot in front of the net, yet missed wide right.
“We missed that one, which was harder to miss than to make,” Appels jokingly told the Valley Sun. “If he had stood there and just let it hit him, he would have scored.”
That goal may have been the difference for St. Francis in the Brandt Tourney, as two scores to help the Golden Knights secure a favorable position in the season-opening competition.
“We were looking for a second goal, because we thought we would need that to advance to the second round,” Appels frankly stated.
Yet, Appels is still pleased with his team’s effort in the second game of the season.