Hawks win match of first-place teams

Offensive scoring balance and improved communication has carried the Horizon Christian soccer team into sole possession of first place atop the District 5 standings midway through the regular season.

The Hawks (5-3 overall, 4-0 league) added to their win streak Monday with a convincing 6-0 shutout of visiting Life Christian (4-4, 3-1) of Aloha. Horizon’s fifth-straight victory included constant pressure on the Lions’ goalie, something coach Rick Whitaker said he and his assistant coaches have been emphasizing throughout the fall.

“Aggressive. We have to be aggressive. That’s the way we’ve been playing all season. We put that much pressure on and that’s when mistakes happen,” Whitaker said.

Senior midfielder Aman Mann was again in the middle of a couple of Horizon’s scoring plays. He scored twice, once when he zigzagged through multiple defenders and made a tough-angle shot from the left end line. His second goal came a short time later, when he headed in a Mason Bloomster crossing pass for a 4-0 Hawk lead.

Sophomore Austyn Whitaker assisted on the Hawks’ first goal minutes into the match by crossing the ball from the right wing to the center where Bloomster finished the play. Whitaker added two second-half goals, including a 35-yarder from the right wing into the upper left corner of the net. The Hawks’ other goal came from sophomore Jared Davis, who redirected a Bloomster header.

“We played well today,” Whitaker said. “We were tied for first with them so I thought this was a good game all around.”

Monday's six-goal outburst was one more than the Hawks had in a 7-1 victory Thursday against Columbia Christian of Portland. Both matches enabled some younger players to get some varsity playing time.

“It’s always good when we can get the younger kids into the game — give them some game experience,” coach Whitaker said.

Horizon’s next match is 4:15 p.m. Thursday at home against Crosshill Christian (3-2-1, 3-1-1) of Turner. The Hawks play three of their final four league matches at home.

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