While the Thomas Jefferson Raiders soccer team couldn’t find the back of the net, the team didn’t allow Kentwood to find it either. Raiders draw with the Conquerors 0-0 on March 28 at Federal Way High School.
“It’s pretty frustrating not bagging a goal with opportunities popping up left and right… It was a good game against a good team, we just gotta keep going,” said Pedro Monga-Munoz.
Thomas Jefferson hit the field with power in the first half against Kentwood. The Raiders held possession of the ball extremely well in the first.
“I felt like we dominated in the first half. We were looking for some consistency,” said Head Coach Josh Hauck.
Even though Thomas Jefferson had nothing to show for it, they only allowed Kentwood to possess the ball on the other side of midfield just twice.
Someone who may be responsible for that would be Federal Way Mirror’s Athlete of the Week Pedro Monga-Munoz who played center back for the Raiders. He even received praise from Kentwood’s striker Armani Albert who referred to him as a “quality center back.”
“I usually play the striker role and I enjoy it a lot, but my diehard position is center back. So going back to my roots is something I’m very comfortable with,” Monga-Munoz said.
It was easy for the Raiders to have possession but it was difficult for the players to get shot attempts. Thomas Jefferson had its fair share of corners as well but just couldn’t get the look or angle that could have put them on top.
“I feel like we were on the front foot. We put them under pressure, and possessing the ball in their half helped us early on,” Hauck said.
The second half was all Kentwood. The two teams seemingly switched mentalities. Kentwood seemingly stole the Raider momentum and ran with it the entire second half.
Over the first 12 minutes, Raider keeper Urial Rodriguez needed to make two saves and have a shot hit the post to keep the Conks off the scoreboard. After only having just a single challenge in the first half, Rodriguez made some huge saves to keep TJ in the game.
With under 10 minutes remaining Kentwood gave the Raiders all they could handle. But with a couple of clutch stops Rodriguez and Monga-Munoz, the Raiders were able to survive.
“We dropped Pedro in, and he gave us a lot. I thought they (defense) did tremendous,” said Hauck
The best Thomas Jefferson look was with under two minutes remaining the Raiders had a shot that was saved by the Kentwood keeper.
“Honestly we are kind of lucky to get out of here with a point today,” Hauck said.
Kentwood has played against state tournament teams all year and competed right alongside them, the Raiders are happy with how they fared against the green and black. “I feel like this game was very tough and it prepared us very well. No one gave up and it’ll prepare us very well for the future,” Monga-Munoz said.
The Raiders take on Mt. Rainier on the road March 31 and open the new month their first game at Decatur with kick-off at 5:30 on April 3.