HERMON — The acrobatic flip throw-in is a valuable weapon.
It can be every bit as useful as a corner kick, sometimes even more so because the ball doesn’t have as much spin on it and the thrower can be more accurate with it.
Ellsworth High School senior stopper Andrew Austin actually scored with his flip throw-in and used his right foot to score another as the Eagles blanked the hardworking and youthful Hermon Hawks 2-0 Monday night.
“I started doing it when I was around 10,” said Austin. “I just try to get it from the 6 to the middle of the 18.
“I also try to go to the far post and that’s what I did on that one,” said Austin, who scored on his flip throw-in with 15:02 left in the first half. “I guess he [Hermon goalkeeper Kevin Frederick] tried to punch it and misread it.”
If the ball had gone directly into the net without being touched, it wouldn’t have counted.
But Frederick came out into the crowded goalmouth to try to knock it away only to have it deflect in off his arm.
Frederick was playing just his second game in goal after making the move from striker, where he had five goals in two games.
He turned in an impressive performance. He made eight saves and aggressively came off his line to grab or punch away crosses or Austin throw-ins.
Austin extended the lead off a Josh Bean corner with 1:06 left in the half.
Bean’s corner sailed to the far post where it pinballed around before squirting across to Austin in the middle of the penalty area.
“I hit it with the bottom of my foot and it deflected off the goalie and deflected off a defender [into the net],” said Austin, whose goals were his second and third of the season for the 4-0 Eagles.
The more skillful Eagles had a decided edge in possession and attempted 33 shots to Hermon’s 16.
But the Hawks did a nice job getting numbers on the defensive side of the ball and protecting the net front.
Hermon blocked 11 shots.
The Hawks also generated a few potentially dangerous counter attacks, only to be thwarted by the Eagle back line of Austin, marking backs Ben Curtis and Mike Curtis (no relation) and sweeper Jake Jordan.
“I thought Hermon was very good. Their touches on the ball were very good for the most part,” said Ellsworth coach Brian Higgins.
Ellsworth goalkeeper Jordan Carter made six saves, including a potential game-changer moments before Austin broke the scoreless deadlock.
Talented Hermon senior midfielder Justin McHugh, who was a constant threat all night with his runs down the left flank and his probing crosses, burst down the left side and struck a powerful shot that Carter was able to deflect off the cross bar.
“I barely got my finger on it,” said Carter, who posted his third shutout of the year. “I anticipated him crossing it [to the far post] but he put it near post and, luckily, I got my finger on it.”
Higgins said if that had gone in, it “would have made a big difference in the game. But we had a lot of deflected shots that might have gone in, too.”
Hermon coach Scott Deabay received quality performances from McHugh and his back line of his son Braddock Deabay, Dylan Smith, Jared Cox and Jacob Applebee. The Hawk coach said he thought his team “played a lot better in the second half than we did in the first half. We were a little timid in the first half.”