Northampton Press

Thursday, December 13, 2018
Boys priming for postseason runs Boys priming for postseason runs

Boys priming for postseason runs

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Over their next five games, Northampton’s boys’ soccer team may have a good indication on how they will fare in the postseason.

The Konkrete Kids lost a heart-wrenching, 2-1 double-overtime decision to Emmaus Monday night that left them with an overall 7-2-3 mark. Their other loss also was to Emmaus to begin the season.

Now, the Kids face Allentown Central Catholic, Parkland, and Whitehall along with nonleague foe Southern Lehigh over the next two weeks, one that certainly will be a primer for the postseason.

The Kids currently are the sixth seed in the Class 4A bracket in the District 11 power rankings.

“Every game in that stretch will be a dogfight and it will be very challenging,” said head coach Adam Bastidas. “If we can play well, it will give us a good indication on how districts will be, and it will get us ready to play.

“This will also be a good character test for us and will help us get into a good mindset. Every game we have in the stretch will be a playoff game.”

The Kids did suffer a major player when Jake Auger suffered a hamstring pull and had missed the previous six games. Auger, who scored five goals in the first five games, tried to play against Emmaus, but he likely will be ready for the playoffs.

Still, the Kids have maintained their playing level.

“We managed to do what we have without him and stay in the games,” said Bastidas. “(Auger) hasn’t been a leading score, but he has been a constant for us. He really sets a lot up for us. But we have responded very well.”

Bastidas has been pleased with the play of goalie Brady Rimple as well as the team’s overall defense. The Kids have allowed 12 goals in their first 11 games.

“Brady (Rimple) has been very, very good and consistent,” said Bastidas. “He has come up with many big saves for us. A big part of our success have been due to his efforts.

“Our defensive play in front of him has been sound all season. We have done a really good job.”

Bastidas is optimistic his team could be in play for the league playoffs, but they needed just a tie to qualify for the district playoffs.

“I think we have a decent shot at it,” said Bastidas. “Our goal is to get into districts and then take care of that issue. After getting to districts, we want to gain some momentum for them. It can be a season within a season.

“We have been a lot of good things, and we just have to keep them going.”