ROCKVILLE – The Gaithersburg High School boys soccer team came into Sept. 23 red-hot and undefeated at 6-0, looking to add a seventh win to that record.
However, Richard Montgomery High School had other plans, as they hosted the Trojans that night. The Rockets held off the Gaithersburg attack to earn the 1-0 shutout victory.
“It always feels good to win a game,” said Rockets Head Coach Brian Urioste. “It’s hard to be perfect in this county, especially in our conference, so it’s going to be up and down every game.”
The lone goal from Richard Montgomery (5-1-1) came with 1:43 left in the first half when a loose ball rolled out in front of Danny Romero, who booted it right into the Trojans’ net for the 1-0 lead. According to Urioste, the goal comes as Romero enters his first season playing varsity soccer.
“It’s a beautiful moment,” said Romero through a translator. “I’m just really happy that I scored a goal on the team. But it feels better to score against Gaithersburg.”
The majority of the match featured tons of scoring opportunities, missed shots and saves from both teams’ goalkeepers in a very competitive contest. Both teams did a great job of moving the ball around the pitch to find open teammates to create multiple shot opportunities.
“It felt good doing it because the team moved the ball, not just me,” Romero said. “That’s why the goal happened.”
In the first half, Arsenio Paiz of the Rockets attempted multiple shots that were unsuccessful. His first shot barely missed the net wide to the left while his second attempt was blocked by a Gaithersburg player. His final shot of the half sailed over the net. Senior Augustin Diaz looked poised to score his first goal of the contest before halftime but Gaithersburg senior goalkeeper Jonathan Lovo made a huge save to keep the Trojans in the game.
Senior midfielder Oscar Barrientos had the opportunity to give Gaithersburg an early lead with a penalty kick but his shot sailed over the net.
Gatithersburg’s attack came alive in the second half as junior forward Brayan Bonilla connected with two shots but both fell wide of the goal net.
However, Rockets goalkeeper Johnny Hurowitz made a couple of key saves to maintain his shutout. Hurowitz said Monday night’s victory felt like a great “confidence booster” for him and “other teams should look out for RM” going forward.
“It feels great,” said Hurowitz. “But it is just like another game. We’re here to make a statement, and we’re here to win states, and we’re a team to be reckoned with.”
Before the final whistle, the Trojans attempted more shots on goal looking for the equalizer, but as the clock read all zeroes, Rockets players ran to the center of the field and celebrated the huge win.
“It felt bad losing the first game,” Bonilla said through a translator. “Those changes could have won us the game. It’s a motivation to win the next game.”
“I believe that we were the better team in the first half,” said Urioste, “and they started attacking second half, and fortunately we scored a goal in the first half, and I believe it was good football for the fans and everybody in general.”
In the meantime, Head Coach Eric Cava’s squad will look to bounce back on Sept. 28. when Gaithersburg hosts Northwest High School.
“I’ll be better next time,” Bonilla said, “and I’ll shoot on goal to keep going.”