The lights will be bright on the Middletown High School boys soccer team on Sept. 18 when they take on the Urbana Hawks in its home opener.
The Knights come into the game with a 3-1 record, having won their last three by a combined score of 11-2. Knights junior captain, Jonathon Tatem has led the charge by scoring four goals over the Knights hot streak.
“I feel comfortable with the ball at my feet, I’m comfortable shooting and attacking,” said Tatem. “I like to get the ball to my teammates, and give them chances to score.”
The Knights will need a terrific performance from Tatem if they are going to shoot down the Hawks.
The Hawks are defending state champions in 3A, and have already gotten off to a 3-1 start this season. The Knights have taken a beating from the Hawks recently, as the Knights have dropped the last four in the series.
The Knights were prayed early in last season’s matchup. The Hawks scored three goals in the first half on the way to a 4-0 victory in the Hawks nest.
As for taking down Urbana this year, the Knights will be hard pressed for strategies to stop the fast-paced Hawks.
“We are probably going to put Danny [Bertoni] on one of their best attacking players, Andrew Winn,” said Tatem. “We want to get the ball up to the midfield to get some nice through balls and attacks going.”
Aside from the Urbana loss last year the Knights had a positive season. After losing 11 seniors from the 2012 squad the Knights far exceeded expectations.
Seniors Lucas Tatem, Justin Hohl, Caleb Abel and Connor Smith lead the Knights to an 8-8-1 record and a berth in the Section 1 Final, where the Knights lost a tough match to Oakdale on the road.
After a season without many seniors in 2013, the Knights have a strong senior class coming in with experience.
Nine seniors, led by Devon Tan and Marshall Truitt as returning starters will hope to lead the Knights to what would be a huge upset.