HINSDALE, N.H. — On a day when all eyes were expected to be on Aaron Judge, Jai Maganti had some big swings of his own.
With his legs.
The midfielder unloaded four wicked shots and put one of them between the pipes, helping the Portsmouth Christian Academy varsity boys soccer team to a 3-1 win over host Hinsdale on Friday.
“I’m really happy with the way we played,” said Pacers’ coach Syla Sengaloun, whose team dropped to 0-4 on the season.
After giving up five high-percentage shots and leaving players unmarked on corner kicks in the first half, the hosts looked like a completely different team over the last 40 minutes.
“I told them we had to have more intensity,” Sengaloun said of his halftime speech. “With the wind, I wanted them to keep the ball on the ground. We talked about overlapping and using more through balls.”
Just five minutes into the second half, the Pacers pulled even thanks to the play of the day.
Defender Noah Pangelinan dribbled the ball out to midfield and then fed it to an open teammate along the right sideline. Aidan Davis, who later received a pass in the center, found Trey Corey on the parking lot side. Corey tucked a shot inside the right post to make it 1-all.
“Noah attacked from the back, just how we teach it,” noted the Hinsdale coach. “That goal was just sheer intensity and wanting it.”
PCA would soon silence the crowd, however. A routine shot by Tim Kelm somehow got by Hinsdale keeper Brayden Eastman (5 saves) to make it 2-1 with 29:15 left, and Maganti capped the scoring from point-blank range down the stretch.
“We are a work in progress,” Sengaloun commented after the contest.
Captain Isaac Kohl put the visitors on the board 16 minutes in by tapping in a beautiful cross by David Savers.
Davis, who had a couple of direct kicks versus three-man walls in the first half, nearly bent in his second attempt. Ryan Sweetser gave the Pacers a chance with a nice through ball to Connor Sengaloun. A long throw-in by Alex Gaffney was later caught by PCA goalie Landon Hasty (8 saves).
Hinsdale will play at PCA (4-3) on Wednesday.