Soccer isn’t exactly America’s game, so it’s only fitting that when North Reading needed a boost against Cape Ann Division 3 champion Rockport last night, the Hornets looked to a source from across the pond.
NR junior midfielder and German exchange student Julius Begenhardt netted the game-winner as the Hornets handed the Vikings just their second loss this year, 1-0, last night in Cape Ann League action.
The win puts NR to 5-5-3 (4-5-3 Cape Ann) a point away from clinching a Division 2 playoff berth with two games left on the season.
“That’s a huge win for us,” Hornets coach Mark Bisognono said. “With this game and a tough game coming Friday against Lynnfield, we were looking at those games just trying to scrap out points as quickly as possible. Getting two points is huge for us.”
Begenhardt was the hero, netting the game-winner in the 56th minute as Rockport failed to fully clear a NR corner kick out of the attacking area.
“The ball wasn’t won cleanly in the box, and it came out on a partial clear to senior captain Chris Kavanaugh,” Bisognono said. “He was able to find Julius at about the top of the [18 yard-line], and he crushed it right-footed into the right side of the net.”
Begenhardt hasn’t done much goal-scoring for NR, but has facilitated a lot of the Hornets’ offense –– evidenced by his five assists on the season.
The left-footed German has been in North Reading since August, and will only be in the states for five or six months. But his overseas soccer education has been a big help to Bisognono and the Hornets’ players.
“He certainly understands the game coming from a European background,” Bisognono said. “He’s been great with our kids trying to teach them the game from the way he learned it in Germany, which is a little different than here.”
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