Knowing Where To Go: Herrera’s 2 Goals Keep Crestwood Boys Soccer Undefeated In Win Over Dallas
DALLAS — Hubert Herrera knew where he wanted to shoot, even before kickoff.
Crestwood boys soccer’s leading scorer said he was breaking down the evening’s game during warmups and told a teammate he’d want to go left if presented the opportunity. About midway through the first half, a Dallas foul let Herrera get set for such an opportunity from about 26 yards out and to the left of goal.
His attempted cleared the Mountaineers wall and hooked into the back-left corner of the net, inches from the diving reach of the keeper.
It was the start to one of Crestwood’s best wins of the season. Herrera scored again in the second half, Justin Sterling tacked on a late insurance goal and the Comets shut out Dallas, 3-0, on Tuesday night.
“It’s just a statement. A lot of other teams see that score,” Herrera said, “and they’re going to know what we’re coming for.”
The second and final regular-season meeting between last year’s District 2 Class 3A finalists marked Crestwood’s eighth shutout of the season. After the undefeated Comets let Dallas rally back into last month’s game, they hardly gave them a chance at a comeback this time by deflecting shots and stopping counter attacks before they became real trouble.
“This was the game that was on our schedule that we were the most afraid of,” Comets coach David McFarland said. “It turned out to be a great game, good result for us. … Until that second goal happened, it was very difficult.”
Herrera put Crestwood (12-0, 11-0 Division 1) ahead midway in the first half on his free kick, which he had planned for during pregame.
“I was practicing ... and I got a couple in. I just felt confident about it,” Herrera said.
Then, he doubled the team’s lead midway through the second half by another matter of inches.
Dallas keeper Kyle Greenwood — whose aggressiveness kept Dallas (9-2-1) within striking distance much of the night — closed in with a sliding save attempt as Herrera approached the 18-yard box. But, Herrera lifted a shot high enough to bounce into the vacant net as he tumbled to the turf.
In the final four minutes, Sterling’s goal all but ensured another win for Crestwood, which has outscored opponents 79-6 this season.
Crestwood has beaten Dallas in five consecutive meetings now, but the series hasn’t been as one-sided as that winning streak may make it appear.
All three of last season’s wins were decided by one goal; two went to overtime, including the district final. The Comets have opened the gap this season, however, with Wednesday’s win following a two-goal victory in which they led 4-0 at one point.
This latest win puts Crestwood in a great position to repeat as WVC Division 1 champions. They’re still undefeated with five games remaining, and the Mountaineers are in second place with two losses, both to the Comets.
But even if Crestwood coasts to a WVC title, Dallas might still get another shot with even more on the line.
Crestwood (.757) and Dallas (.706) were first and second in the District 2 Class 3A power ratings before Tuesday’s result. Wallenpaupack (.695) was third, and Valley West — which posted a scoreless draw against Dallas on Saturday — followed in fourth (.645).
At 8-2-1 in Division 1, Valley West is also a victory away from matching Dallas’ second-place record.
So, while it isn’t guaranteed, another Crestwood-Dallas meeting this postseason is a real possibility.
“Dallas has a really strong team. So I expect to see them, if not in the final, before that,” McFarland said. “For sure, that game will be tough.”
FIRST HALF: Hubert Herrera (Cre) unassisted, 21:18.
SECOND HALF: Hubert Herrera (Cre) from Max Gariano, 18:51; Justin Sterling (Cre) unassisted, 3:22.
SHOTS: Cre 6, Dal 3.
CORNERS: Cre 2 Dal 2.
SAVES: Cre (Chris Smith) 3, Dal (Kyle Greenwood) 3.
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