Plum takes down Norwin in clash of section rivals

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 10:07 PM


After a tie with Norwin earlier this season, the Plum boys soccer team was on a mission to make a statement on Tuesday night when it met up with the Knights for the second time this season.

It took them just 11 minutes to do so.

Plum’s AJ Koma won the ball on the left sideline, made a run towards the Norwin net and sent a low-cross through the middle of the box. After the ball found its way through several sets of legs, junior forward DD Flowers put it into the back of the net, tallying his 10th goal of the season. From there, the No. 3 Mustangs never looked back as they cruised to a 4-2 victory and took sole possession of Section 3-4A.

“This feels great,” senior captain Tyler Kolankowski said. “The fact that we came to their stadium and beat them after they had them ranked as No. 1, it feels great to come out here and show them who’s actually No. 1.”

Earlier this season when the two teams faced off, No. 1 Norwin (10-1-1, 7-1-1) struck first and the Mustangs evened the score midway through the game. But, on Tuesday, Plum (10-0-1, 8-0-1) set the tone early and never let up.

The two teams traded shots throughout the first half and created multiple opportunities. Neither team could find the back of the net. Then Flowers rose to the occasion once again for the Mustangs.

He battled with Norwin’s Caleb Yuricha on a pass that was sent to the Knights’ back line as they both raced towards the Norwin goal. The junior forward won the ball around the top of the 18-yard box and buried a shot past Norwin’s keeper to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead heading into the half.

“Coach Raf just told me to go out and get one before the half,” Flowers said. “So I told him I would and I did.”

It took the Mustangs just under five minutes to put the nail in the coffin in the second half, as Flowers found Koma on a cross for their third goal of the game. The Knights answered with two more of their own throughout the course of the second half, but Flowers completed his hat trick with about six minutes left in the game to put it away.

“I mean he really stood out. He scored three of their four goals,” Norwin coach Scott Schuchert said. “He was the difference maker tonight.”

For the Mustangs, their second matchup of the season with Norwin wasn’t just a regular game. It was an opportunity to deliver a statement that they are a team that deserves to be in the conversation of Class 4A contenders.

Message delivered.

“We’ve been playing pretty well for the most part and I’m pretty happy with where we are at right now,” Plum coach Raf Kolankowski said. “This was a good statement game because Norwin is a very good team. They are always good and they are No. 1. So for us to come into their house and do this was pretty exciting for the kids.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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