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Soccer Wildcats hope to extend soccer streak
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In five consecutive trips to the postseason, Richmond Hill High School has never lost in the first round of the boys’ state soccer playoffs under coach Robbie Flanders.
The Wildcats (15-3) will look to keep that first-round win streak alive tonight when they play host to former Region 2-AAAA foe Evans in the first-round of the Class AAAAA tournament.
Flanders said the Knights will come to play, however.  
“They will be a very solid team that will like to possess and build their attack from the back,” he said. “They have a great keeper and a strong forward that we will have to deal with and they will be very aggressive.”
The Wildcats counter with a squad that finished with 15 wins in the regular season for the second straight year. During one four-game stretch, RHHS outscored opponents 36-1.
 “The kids did an excellent job this season,” Flanders said. “I have a great group of seniors that stepped up and did a good job leading this team … my two captains, Jonathan Hatala and Kenneth Adams have played a huge role with the success the team has had. They never tried to do too much but demanded a lot from all the other guys on the team.”
Forward Lucas Soares paced RHHS in goals scored with 26 and added 10 assists. Hatala added 13 goals and three assists. In all, a dozen players scored goals for the Wildcats and 13 recorded assists. Keeper Joel Heiser had 85 saves and logged 10 shutouts while backup Austin Miller had five saves and three shutouts.
As the stats suggest, it’s been a season in which a number of different players have contributed, Flanders said in comparing the 2013 Wildcats to their predecessors.
“This team is different than past teams for many reasons,” he said. “One, we do have a high number of seniors but overall we are a very young team. Two, this team doesn’t rely on one or two players to win games. This season everyone contributed in every game.”
Flanders called the 2013 squad “the most team-oriented team I’ve had at Richmond Hill.”
And that’s not all separating this team from past squads, either.
“This team plays a more controlled possession style,” Flanders said. “They play calm and try to control and dictate how the game should go. They can adapt to how the game can change from one half to the next. It’s been a pleasure coaching this team this year and I hope we can continue our season for a few more weeks.”
The match begins at 6 p.m.

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