South Burlington, VT- After a scoreless first half, Worcester Hydra head coach Elvis Comrie challenged his players to not only compete against the Vermont Voltage, but also with themselves. He was happy to see the team respond.
The Hydra scored three goals in the second half and came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Voltage, 3-2, Saturday at South Burlington High School.
The Hydra (4-3-5) found themselves down 2-1 after the Voltage (2-9-2) scored twice within a two-minute span, but Alencar Junior scored two goals to give the Hydra their first win since June 9.
In a first half in which the Hydra were outshot 8-3, Comrie said that there were “players not playing with any tenacity, not competing, just kind of going with the flow, so to speak. So I called them out at halftime and I questioned their character and I questioned their ability to compete.”
“The only difference was to see if we can compete – not with them, but with yourself, to ask more of yourself because what you did in the first half wasn’t good enough,” Comrie said. “To their credit they reciprocated.”
Junior scored in the 60th minute off a cross from Derek McCaffrey to tie the game. Nine minutes later, he put the Hydra on top for good after he dribbled downfield and blasted a shot from 18 yards out into the net.
“When I saw McCaffrey moving fast, fast, real fast, I saw the ball pass the defense and just kicked the ball,” Junior said. “I believe in me. I’m so fast and I waited for the moment. I pressured and got the ball, saw the keeper was coming out and made my move.”
Hydra forward Charlie Rugg scored in the 50th minute off a penalty kick. Rugg was taken down in the box by a Voltage player and kicked the ensuing PK into the bottom right corner of the net to give the Hydra a 1-0 lead.
“Charlie’s a tough guy,” Junior said. “When you have a guy next to you in front, it helps a lot.”
Victor Tozelli and Bozidar Jelovac scored within three minutes of each other to give the Voltage a 2-1 lead, which gave Junior more intensity.
“When they got the second goal, we were mad because we traveled far away and wanted the win,” he said.
So he responded and took matters into his own hands. Junior, who now leads the team with eight goals, scored the game-tying goal from two yards out. McCaffrey crossed the ball from 20 yards out to the right side of the area, where Junior slid and kicked the ball into the back right corner of the net.
“That’s what you expect from Junior,” Comrie said. “He’s here to score goals. He got himself into situations today and did his job.”
Hydra goalkeeper Oliver Blum recorded four saves, while Voltage goalie Ryan Brooks-Newton made four saves.
by Matt Eisenberg