The Hydra (1-1-0) will look to keep up that trend when they face the Vermont Voltage (0-1-0) Saturday at 7 p.m. at Commerce Bank Field at Foley Stadium.
“The first thing that I emphasize and teach is how to defend, and if you’re going to compete in any sport and look at all the teams that won championships—it’s their defense,” Comrie said.
Goalkeeper Oliver Blum has recorded a shutout and allowed just one goal in 180 minutes played this season, but the team’s defense has been an essential part to that success.
The Hydra have limited their opponents to just eight shots in two games, thanks in part to the play of Taylor Washington, Colin Murphy, Matheus Candido and Derek McCaffrey. Comrie said that while some people have stood out, it’s a team effort that has contributed to the team’s success.
“They’ve done a very good job at applying the things that we ask them to do to put ourselves in position to compete and to win games,” Comrie said. “These guys have done a phenomenal job, but it’s been a team collective effort that has allowed us to do what we’ve done so far.”
On the offensive side, Alencar Junior ranks second in the PDL in shots taken with 11. He leads the Northeast Division in goals, as he notched both of the Hydra’s tallies in their 2-0 win vs. the Boston Victory last Saturday. Junior took eight shots in the team’s season-opener vs. Seacoast United, but failed to put one in the net, hitting the post twice.
Junior scored the first goal in team history when he received a cross-field pass from Michael Soboff in the 70th minute and headed the ball past Boston goalkeeper Jordan Bar. Eight minutes later, he took a lob pass from Brett Uttley, beat two defenders and blasted a shot past Bar to give the Hydra a 2-0 lead.
Aside from Junior, Soboff, Evan Burokas and Laurence Braude have been able to create scoring opportunities. The three players have combined for eight shots on the season.
“We’ve already established an identity toward a style to play,” Comrie said.
Worcester will also be adding more and more players as the season progresses, including forward Ebrima “Eboy” Badgie, from the University of Minnesota Morris. The Hydra will also look toward Charles Rugg, who ranks sixth in Boston College history in goals and points.
“Those are key guys we hope can give us other options and give us goal-scoring opportunities,” Comrie said. “These players are just coming aboard now.”
The Hydra are coming off a physical outing vs. Boston, when the teams combined for 16 fouls in the first half. The Victory were handed three yellow cards in the game. On the contrary, the Voltage were only called for six fouls in their 2-1 loss vs. GPS Portland last Saturday.
Vermont forward Ognjen Perucica scored the lone goal for the Voltage last Saturday to knot the score 1-1 in the 37th minute. However, Portland countered with a goal by Chris Banks in the 78th minute to secure the victory.
“We try to find out as much as we can about our opponent, but I stress more about what we need to do and what we need to improve on,” Comrie said.
Comrie credits his players for adjusting to the league as quickly as they have. He said that one of the biggest keys will be consistency.
“Hopefully we’ll continue to get the W’s because that’s what we’re striving for each game,” he said. “We need to put ourselves in a position to win games.”